Aid to Treat 100,000-Plus Cholera Patients Delivered in Haiti

Since the cholera outbreak began in October 2010 in Haiti, Direct Relief international has provided material aid to treat more than 100,000 people for the disease and to prevent its spread. These items, valued at more than $5 million (wholesale) include:

  • 84,146 liters of IV solutions and the accompanying needles and tubing (enough to treat nearly 17,000 patients with severe cholera)
  • 36,000 liters of premixed oral rehydration solution (enough to rehydrate over 8,000 people with severe dehydration)
  • 300,000 tablets of doxycycline and erythromycin (antibiotics to help over 60,000 people recover from an extreme case of cholera)
  • 25,862 liters of Pedialyte oral rehydration product (enough to treat 5,000 children for severe dehydration)
  • 89,412 bars of soap, 8,400 gallons of bleach, and 55,848 bottles of hand sanitizer to  prevent the spread of cholera

Direct Relief is also preparing 6 cholera prep kits containing enough IV fluids, needles, tubing, antibiotics, oral rehydration solution, bleach, gloves, and soap to treat 625 patients per kit–or a total of 3,750 people. Direct Relief is also delivering an additional 375,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts (ORS) that, when mixed with water, will provide a full course of rehydration therapy to an additional 75,000 people.

These cholera preparation modules and the ORS will be stored at Direct Relief’s warehouse in Port-au-Prince and can be dispatched at a moment’s notice to any health facility experiencing a surge in cholera patients. Urgent treatment is critical with cholera, which can turn deadly fast if a patient becomes severely dehydrated.

Hospital Albert Schweitzer, the first hospital to treat cholera patients last October and the largest recipient of cholera-treatment supplies from Direct Relief, reports that it has seen 26,365 patients since last October (roughly 15 percent of the total people hospitalized for cholera in Haiti) and are seeing about 21 cholera patients per day (76 percent of whom stay two or more days in hospital).

As of the end of July, the total number of reported cholera cases on Haiti was 419,511, with more than half of these patients requiring hospitalization. Overall, data from health facilities indicate that 5,968 people have died (about 1.4 percent of all cases). The elderly and children are most vulnerable to the acute diarrheal disease.

According to the World Health Organization, up to 80 percent of cholera cases can be successfully treated with oral rehydration salts, and effective control measures rely on prevention, preparedness, and response.

Direct Relief’s warehouse in Haiti has enabled fast delivery of critically needed supplies to help prevent and treat cholera

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