International Medical Corps has deployed another set of 12 doctors and nurses, and is establishing Cholera Treatment Centers (CTCs) in and around Artibonite, where a cholera outbreak has killed 254 and sickened another 3,015.
“International Medical Corps teams are supporting health facilities in St. Marc, and working to prevent new cases from occurring in the area and in Port-au-Prince by prepositioning supplies and training medical personnel and community members,” says Dr. Jojo Cangao, International Medical Corps Medical Director in Haiti.
The first cholera treatment center is being established at Verretes Hospital and medical personnel will support both Verettes Hospital and Albert Schweitzer Hospital, which have both requested nurses. International Medical Corps is also supporting St. Marc Hospital, the largest referral hospital in the area, with supplies.
To prepare for the possibility of an outbreak spreading to the displacement camps in Port-au-Prince, where more than a million people have been living since the January 12 earthquake, International Medical Corps is pre-positioning supplies, such as IV fluids, oral rehydration salts, and water purification tablets. Community Health Workers in the camps are being mobilized to provide cholera prevention training as well.
International Medical Corps also has 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.