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Posts Tagged ‘cholera outbreak in central Haiti’

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BET’s Terrance J asks others to assist Project …, posted with vodpod

 

In the video above BET’s Terrence J from 106 & Park has teamed up with Project Medishare and is asking for help. Wednesday, the Haitian Ministry of Health reported 4722 cholera cases including 303 deaths.

While Project Medishare’s community health agents are mobilized to educate people about cholera and how to prevent it, the disease spreads quickly. Many worry that this epidemic could be more deadly than January’s earthquake.Project Medishare has been directly involved in helping stop the spread of this deadly disease by networking with the Haitian Ministry of Health, Zanmi Lasanté, the American Red Cross and many other partnering NGOs so we can assist as much as possible.

If you would like to help Project Medishare and our partners continue to combat the spread of cholera click here to make an online donation today.

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Project Medishare medical and office staff go out into the community to get the message out about cholera. Without community health programs like this one, it would be almost impossible to spread the word about prevention to keep people safe. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

In NPR’s Health Experts Keep Close Eye on Cholera in Haiti, Christopher Joyce discusses Haiti’s health worker’s focus on prevention and education and how it is vital to keep cholera at bay. Epidemiologists working with the International Organization for Migration have begun to do this by tracking those from the Artibonite region where the outbreak started. Officials are using cell phone records to track people who are leaving the area for fear that these people may possibly be infected. Epidemiologists are sending these people text messages providing a free number to call. Those who do call learn not only how to avoid spreading the disease, but also what to do if they get infected.
Project Medishare has joined forces with the Haitian Ministry of Health as well as other partnering organizations such as Partners in Health’s Zanmi Lasante, American Red Cross, and other NGOs to get the message out about cholera, including how to prevent it and how it is treated.

In Joyce’s article, Sabrina Pourmand-Nolan, local director for World Vision, advocates that in order for Haiti to prevent cholera from becoming a permanent plague, it will take more than proper sewage to keep the Caribbean country out of the woods.

Project Medishare community health nurse Wiseline Celestine uses a megaphone to make people aware about cholera and the ways to prevent contracting the disease. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

“It’s not just about getting proper sewage,” Pourmand-Nolan told NPR, “it’s about getting proper educational facilities, proper health facilities. That’s how we are going to protect the people over the long term.”

Project Medishare began working in rural Haiti in 1994 with a focus on empowering the people to support a community health program. Today, based in Thomonde, in Haiti’s Central Plateau, the organization continues its mission to improve access to healthcare in Haiti.

When the word got out that cholera was raging across the nearby Artibonite area, Project Medishare mobilized 82 community health agents who immediately began getting the message out to their communities. They were joined by 20 other community health doctors and nurses and office staff.

And while, the organization’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists and health agents are out in the community each day, it is times like these that provide a reminder regarding the importance of this community health program in Haiti’s Central Plateau.  Without programs like this one, it would be almost impossible to spread the word about prevention to keep people safe.

Project Medishare’s community health and development program exists on private donations. If you would like to make a donation to keep these programs in action click here to make a secure online donation today.

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By Jennifer Browning

Representing the deadliest health crisis since January’s earthquake, a cholera epidemic is reportedly spreading in central Haiti.

The Haitian Ministry of Health today has confirmed cases of cholera in the area surrounding the lower Artibonite region of Haiti. Health Minister Alex Larsen reported that a river running down from the central plateau through the Artibonite region has tested positive for cholera.

Project Medishare’s Country Director Marie Chery reported that the pattern of the epidemic is along the Artibonite River, south of the UN camp located on the road to Thomonde, just past Mirebalais. No cases are yet to be identified in the UN camp.

Hospitals and clinics of the lower Artibonite region are overwhelmed and more than 2000 cases have been reported with 160 confirmed deaths. A few cases have also been reported in Mirebalais.

In our communities in the Central Plateau, Project Medishare is responding with an organized plan of mass education using our network of community health workers, community leaders, school teachers and others.

“We are using the local radio station also to educate on the necessity of treating or boiling drinking water, preparing oral rehydration solutions, and hand washing,” Chery said. “We are distributing liquid bleach, hand soap, and oral rehydration packets. We are also working with the Ministry of Health and other partners to assist in the affected areas in the Artibonite region and the Central Plateau.”

Dr. Michel Dodard, Director of The Global Institute of Community Health and Development, just returned from Haiti where he gave a long interview in Creole to Voice of America (VOA) to discuss the facts about cholera , preventive measures and treatment.

Medical staff at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HPBMPM) has mobilized all resources required to fight the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The in-country supply warehouse is currently having specialized cots set aside along with oral rehydration agents, IV fluids, antibiotics and sterilization agents to be used upon request by our programs in the Central Plateau as well as for HBMPM in Port-au-Prince.

“Communication with the Ministry of Health as well as with other NGO’s such as JP/HRO and PIH has been initiated in order to present a coordinated attack on all fronts to contain this potentially devastating epidemic,” Dr. Enrique Ginzburg, Project Medishare’s International Director said.

Project Medishare is also assisting Yéle Haiti, who is currently deploying 14 water trucks in order to provide safe drinking water to the affected areas in the Central Department.

Marie Chery continues to stay in close contact with the Ministry of Health and will be providing regular updates.

What is Cholera?

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness that is spread by drinking water that is contaminated by human feces with the organism Vibrio cholera. Symptoms typically develop between one and five days after drinking water contaminated by human feces containing the cholera bacteria. Only about 10 percent of those who drink water contaminated by the cholera bacteria will fall ill; however, the infection can be severe particularly among young children, the elderly, the malnourished and persons with decreased immune function.Those ill with cholera can develop profuse and severely watery, high volume diarrhea that is rapidly dehydrating. Without adequate replacement of volume lost, patients may go into shock and die of dehydration. The mainstay of treatment for cholera is fluid and salt replacement—generally by oral rehydration solution—a standard combination of salt, sugar and water. Intravenous fluids may be needed if the person is unable to drink due to vomiting or depressed level of consciousness. Antibiotics are used to decrease the volume of diarrhea and the excretion of bacteria in the stool, which can decrease transmission.

(Click here to read the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) report on Cholera in Disaster Situation.)

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