Prevention Efforts Doubled Amidst Cholera Outbreak in Haiti
A week into Haiti’s first cholera outbreak in many decades, Action Against Hunger | ACF International strengthened its emergency response activities to prevent the spread of this highly contagious, deadly disease, which has already claimed over 300 victims and poses a risk to the displaced living in tents without clean water and proper sanitation. Action Against Hunger has worked to enhance a national epidemic prevention system, which was developed after the January 12th earthquake as a safeguard against potential cholera outbreaks. ACF’s work on this epidemic prevention systems covers three key components:
Hygiene Kit Distributions to Individuals & Health Facilities
Over 9,500 kits containing soap, chlorine tablets and oral rehydration salts have been distributed to over 35,000 people. Health kits including buckets and equipment for feet and hand washing have also been distributed to health facilities.
Cleaning, Disinfection & Chlorination
In Port-au-Prince Action Against Hunger has conducted a systematic camp cleaning with the aim of disinfecting water points and latrines and chlorinating water sources. Given the risk of contagion, ACF has increased the amount of chlorine in the more than three million gallons of treated water we distribute to 300,000 individuals each day. Systematic tests are held every day at some 70 water points to ensure proper chlorine content, and ACF’s teams have stepped up prevention efforts by spraying water points and over 900 latrines with multiple doses of chlorine each day.
Cholera Prevention Awareness
Action Against Hunger’s teams of hygiene promoters now total over 11,000 individuals—outreach specialists working with medical staff at health facilities on basic cholera prevention. ACF’s teams are also carrying out public education programs in conjunction with the World Health Organization and Haiti’s Ministry of Health, with street campaigns, posters, and instructional leaflets that aim to inform to the populace on how protect themselves against cholera.
Action Against Hunger will continue with these efforts—targeted distributions, daily disinfections, and ongoing awareness campaigns—in the coming weeks and months to help contain the cholera outbreak and prevent this epidemic from reaching the tens of thousands of displaced Haitians living in crowded camps.