IRC launching cholera prevention campaign in Port-au-Prince
A boy waits with a relative outside a hospital in the Artibonite region, north of Port-au-Prince, where Haitian authorities estimate more than 1500 people have been infected with cholera.
Photo: THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images
LATEST (23 Oct 2010): The first cases of cholera have been confirmed in Port-au-Prince. The IRC's Aisha Bain briefs the BBC on the situation and the prevention measures the IRC and other humanitarian organizations are taking to stave off a massive outbreak in Haiti's capital. Watch the video >>
A fatal outbreak of cholera in the region of Artibonite, just north of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, has prompted swift calls for containment and prevention.
As of mid-day Friday, Haitian authorities were reporting 158 dead with estimates of more than 1500 people infected.
As of yet the capital has not been affected, but with concern growing that the disease could hit the sprawling and congested settlements of Port-au-Prince, the International Rescue Committee is beginning a prevention campaign in 30 sites where the organization currently works.
“Proper hygiene and sanitation practices are key to stopping the spread of cholera,” says Melody Munz, IRC’s environmental health program coordinator in Haiti.
Munz and her team are preparing to distribute sanitation materials, including soap, cleaning supplies, jerry cans, chlorine and water purification tablets for drinking water.
The IRC already has a large hygiene promotion campaign in place, but the team will be stepping up efforts.
“We need to keep our emphasis on prevention right now,” says Munz. “Strong promotion of good hygiene practices will be key to making residents aware of how to keep themselves safe and curb the spread of this disease.”
Haiti Crisis Watch Report: Nine months after a massive earthquake struck Haiti, the IRC's teams of experts continue to deliver help and hope to the devastated city of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.