Massive infusion of Aid Delivered to Fight Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

Direct Relief’s 20-ton emergency air shipment of medical supplies sent earlier this week is being used to help treat thousands of cholera patients and to restock regional hospitals’ supplies that have been drained in fighting the outbreak.

Direct Relief is infusing an additional 137 tons of medical essentials by ocean and air transport in response to requests for assistance from 4 Departments in Haiti, including the Artibonite Department in which the outbreak occurred.

In response to a request from Dr. Jasmin, director of Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) in the Northern Department, Direct Relief is providing to the Justinian University Hospital in Cap-Haitien antibiotics to treat 16,000 people andtablets to purify 30,000 gallons of water in the event cholera spreads to the north.

In response to other requests from the MSPP and partner groups providing aid, Direct Relief is providing large volumes of essentials, including:

  • 4,200 gallons of bleach, donated by the Clorox Company in the Dominican Republic;
  • A 40-foot ocean container of CeraLyte, a premixed oral rehydration solution;
  • Four 40-foot containers of IV solution, tubing, and needles donated by Baxter.

Direct Relief has allocated $250,000 to mobilize and transport the large volumes of medical supplies needed to respond aggressively to this public health emergency.

Haiti’s MSPP reported today a total of 4,649 cases of cholera and 305 deaths in four departments since October 20. Cholera, a diarrheal disease, is spread primarily through water contaminated with fecal matter and quickly turns fatal when a patient becomes dehydrated.

News and radio programs are being broadcast in the capital city to inform residents on proper hand-washing techniques and ways to stay hydrated until one can get to the hospital if they suspect they are ill. Officials are working to locate the source of cholera, as it has not been seen in Haiti for over 50 years and reportedly didn’t arise directly as a result of the earthquake.

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