Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A cholera outbreak in Haiti has been the cause of at least 259 deaths and thousands of more infections, with a handful of cases emerging in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
While the infection and death rate seems to be stabilizing, officials and aid workers are focused on containing the disease so that it does not spread en masse in the highly populated area of Port-au-Prince.
Dr. Danielle Prosper leads The Salvation Army clinic there and is preparing should there be a possible influx of cholera patients.
The clinic is surrounded by an Internally Displaced Persons camp managed by The Salvation Army in partnership with Concern Worldwide and Viva Rio. The camp shelters 13,000 residents. While conditions are harsh, the camp does have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water, toilets, and a good drainage system.
For some months, classes have been conducted in the camp teaching women and children the importance of thorough hand washing and cooking of food since cholera is primarily spread through contact with dirty water.
The Salvation Army is communicating with Haitian health officials about the government’s recommended course of treatment for victims, as well as acquiring an adequate supply of vaccines for medical staff and response workers.