Six Weeks Into Outbreak, More Than 157 Tons of Medical Aid Delivered


In response to the rapid spread of cholera in Haiti, Direct Relief has expanded its medical-supply efforts to support over 100 hospitals and health facilities throughout the country and has furnished 157 tons of medical essentials and hygiene materials to health facilities.

Direct Relief is working in collaboration with Haiti’s national Ministry of Health and its departmental directors, as well as directly with individual health facilities caring for cholera patients throughout the country.

As of yesterday, official reports indicate that 60,240 people have been treated for cholera in medical facilities across Haiti and 1,415 people have died. WHO/PAHO estimate that the cholera outbreak could affect up to 400,000 people.

The sheer physical volume of medical supplies over this six-week period is unprecedented in Direct Relief’s history. The distribution effort is being managed through a Port-au-Prince–based distribution center and Direct Relief’s SAP-based inventory platform that enables online ordering, tracking, and visibility.

Consistent with Direct Relief’s longstanding practice, all medical materials have been requested by end-user health facilities and imported with the approval of the Haitian Ministry of Health, and all are furnished free of charge. Below is a summary of the aid furnished:

  • Doxycycline: sufficient quantities to treat 23,500 people with severe cases of cholera.
  • I.V. materials: 72,421 1-liter bags of lactated ringers and sodium chloride (estimated by requesting facilities to treat at least 10,000 patients needing intravenous rehydration.) An additional 40,000 I.V. catheters is en route.
  • Pedialyte children’s oral rehydration solution: 10,689 1-liter bottles (estimated to treat 2,672 babies with each child receiving four 1-liter bottles).
  • Premixed oral rehydration solution: 26,100 1-liter containers (estimated to treat 9,000 patients with moderate or early stages of cholera).
  • Disinfectants and Hygiene Supplies: 30,864 bottles of hand sanitizer, 19,200 bars of soap, 4,200 gallons of bleach, and enough PUR water tablets to purify 57,600 gallons of water. These materials have been requested to prevent the spread of cholera, as the most important aspects of prevention are clean water, proper hygiene, and disinfection.

Rapid and extensive support from Direct Relief’s corporate partners to the cholera outbreak has been essential, as the vast majority of medical material noted above has been donated from commercial inventories. Direct Relief has used $200,000 in Haiti-designated cash contributions for transporting, clearing, in-country trucking and delivery of materials in response to the cholera outbreak.

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