In response to a cholera outbreak in Haiti which has killed 917 and sickened another 14,600, International Medical Corps immediately mobilized local health teams. The organization has implemented cholera treatment centers (CTC’s) at hospitals in Verrettes, St. Michel, and Ennery in Artibonite region, where patients are being administered IV solution, oral rehydration salts, and doxycycline to treat cholera and given water purification tablets. At all of these hospitals, International Medical Corps is also working to improve hospital waste management and infection control. International Medical Corps has trained five doctors and 31 nurses on cholera prevention, management, and treatment throughout the region and plans to expand the training to all nurses working in the hospitals as well as staff working in the connected dispenseries and health centers.
In response to confirmed cholera cases in Port-au-Prince, International Medical Corps has mobilized existing primary health clinics in the city to offer cholera-related services. Our staff will administer oral rehydration salts and IVs as needed and provide referrals and transport critical cases. International Medical Corps is coordinating with partners in camps where it has clinics to implement community education campaigns on cholera prevention, identification, and treatment – and clinic staff are being trained in cholera treatment and management.
International Medical Corps’ community health workers have been educating tent camps and communities since the cholera outbreak was first confirmed some three weeks ago. We also have activated a highly effective and vast network of community educators via the Boy Scouts leadership in St. Marc and Port-au-Prince; as part of an intensive health education outreach effort in each community, they, along with local health officials, are being trained to educate their communities on proper hygiene practices, as well as identify and refer cholera cases for treatment.
International Medical Corps has extensive experience in cholera outbreak response, management, and prevention, with its most recent responses in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Iraq. Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene are also one of its top organizational priorities, with such programs in countries including Haiti, Somalia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.