Getting ahead of the cholera outbreak in Haiti

Haiti staff are trained in proper handwashing.
Haiti field agents were trained this week in cholera prevention techniques, such as hand washing. They are sharing this information with people in their communities.

With several cases of cholera being reported in the city of Port-au-Prince, World Concern is stepping up our response to the disease spreading by collecting supplies for hygiene kits and preparing to distribute these to more than 30,000 people. The kits will be assembled and distributed within the next few days to people we serve through our HIV and AIDS programs in rural areas, and to the earthquake victims we’re working with in the Delmas neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.

World Concern President Dave Eller is concerned that if cholera becomes an epidemic in Port-au-Prince, it will be a problem for a very long time. He feels strongly that we need to help those we’re currently serving.

“It’s the responsible thing to do, to protect the people who God has given us to walk alongside,” he said. “This is one more tragedy they may have to endure. I wish that we were in a place to have a response beyond these people, but for now, they’ve been given into our care. They trust us.”

The hygiene kits will include:

  • Water purification tablets
  • Soap
  • Oral rehydration packets

We’re estimating we’ll need to spend a minimum of $45,000 to get these kits and information in the hands of Haitian families, but it could cost up to $80,000.

We know that cholera spreads easily in crowded conditions with poor sanitation, and that pretty much describes the situation in Port-au-Prince, where hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors are living in tent communities.

Supplies are being gathered to assemble hygiene kits that will be distributed to people we're working with in Haiti.
Supplies are being gathered to assemble hygiene kits that will be distributed to people we're working with in Haiti.

World Concern has responded with carefully planned prevention strategies: training our field staff about the disease, its symptoms, how it spreads, and ways to improve hygiene to stay healthy. They, in turn, are passing that information along to people we work with. Now, that information will come with supplies to help keep families healthy.

If you’d like to donate to the Haiti cholera response, please click here.

Published by

Cathy Herholdt

Cathy Herholdt is World Concern's Senior Communications Director. With a background in journalism, Cathy honed her writing skills as a newspaper editor and now enjoys sharing the inspiring stories of those World Concern serves. She has served with World Concern since 2010.