With Hurricane Tomas predicted to impact Haiti on Friday, Direct Relief is coordinating closely with partners in Haiti to ensure that they are stocked and ready to respond as needed.
Thanks to strong support from corporate donors, Direct Relief has been preparing partners across Haiti and in the hurricane’s projected path with medical aid to respond to an increase in patients, including those with cholera. The organization has been collaborating with United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and has been actively participating in the Pan American Health Organization-led health cluster in Haiti to identify and respond to urgent needs.
Before hurricane season, Direct Relief also pre-positioned four Hurricane Modules at sites across Haiti in preparation for an emergency response. The modules provide enough material to treat 5,000 people for a month.
Tomas’s trajectory has been suggesting surges and flooding along extensive stretches the south and gulf of Gonaive coastlines, putting more than 1.5 million people in 10 different areas (including Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien) at risk, Haitian officials say.
Hurricane Tomas is especially dangerous for Haiti in light of the more than a million displaced people living in temporary shelter since the January earthquake, as well as the recent cholera outbreak. Cholera spreads through water contaminated with human waste, which is often a consequence of flooding.
To help prevent the spread of cholera, Direct Relief has been equipping thousands of families living in tent camps with hygiene kits as well as delivering needed items such as water purification tablets, oral rehydration solution, IV supplies, and antibiotics.