As Tropical Storm Emily bears down on Haiti, threatening floods and landslides, International Medical Corps is preparing its cholera treatment sites in the West, South and Artibonite Departments for an increase in cholera cases following the storm.
“We are very concerned that heavy flooding will occur as a result of Emily, which will likely lead to a dramatic increase in the spread of cholera,” said Sean Casey, International Medical Corps Haiti Country Director. “We are preparing all of our cholera treatment facilities and pre-positioning medicines and supplies so that we can continue to treat our most severe patients and to prepare for a likely increase in cases after the storm.”
In Les Cayes, International Medical Corps is relocating severe cholera patients out of its tent cholera treatment center into a safe, permanent structure, where they can continue to receive 24-hour care and be protected from the storm. International Medical Corps is also pre-positioning an emergency room physician at Port-au-Prince’s University Hospital to prepare for the possibility of an increased patient load there.
Haiti’s topography is prone to both flooding and landslides. Flash floods are possible in low-lying areas, such as Gonaives and Carrefour, while strong winds are expected to destroy tents and unstable structures. Tropical Storm Emily currently has sustained winds of 80 km/hr., while as much as 20 inches of rainfall is possible in some locations in Haiti.
International Medical Corps was on the ground 22 hours after last year’s 7.0-earthquake struck Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas, and was one of the first responders to medical and emergency needs following Hurricane Tomas, which caused severe flooding in earthquake-affected areas and exacerbated the country’s cholera outbreak. International Medical Corps continues to respond to the cholera outbreak with a network of cholera treatment centers, mobile medical units, and oral rehydration points in some of Haiti’s hardest to reach and most vulnerable areas.