Fighting Cholera in Haiti

The Salvation Army works with Médecins du Monde to fight cholera epidemic in Haiti

February 10, 2011


A new cholera treatment centre (CTC) has been created on Salvation Army farm land in Fond-des-Nègres, Haiti. The project required the levelling of land, clearing of roads and installation of waste removal and water delivery systems but the centre, set up with partner agency Medécins du Monde, was erected in just 15 days.

Two workers from Medécins du Monde (right) outside the entrance to the cholera treatment centre. This is where patients are registered and the severity of infection and course of treatment are determined

The CTC features a carefully designed maze of tents that are sanitised and prepared to receive and care for patients through every stage of infection. From triage to recovery, the CTC delivers intensive rehydration therapy and monitors patients’ fluid levels in order to balance rehydration efforts.

There have been nearly 4,000 confirmed cholera-related deaths throughout Haiti since the epidemic began in late 2010. The Salvation Army’s Bethel Clinic in Fond-des-Nègres saw 250 cases in only two months.

The opening of the CTC will increase the Army’s capacity to effectively treat people in the surrounding communities.

According to the United Nations, the cholera mortality rate in Haiti is down from 10 per cent to two per cent. With the opening of the CTC, The Salvation Army and Médecins du Monde are doing their part to ensure survival rates continue to improve.

In addition to setting up quarantine and treatment areas at Bethel Clinic, The Salvation Army has been taking steps to prevent the spread of cholera since the epidemic began. Vital supplies – such as soap, disinfectant, oral rehydration packets and antibiotics – have been distributed via Salvation Army centres, including its churches and schools, throughout the country. In the capital city, Port-au-Prince, efforts have continued through the primary health clinic, College Verena Primary and Secondary Schools and at the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp next to The Salvation Army’s compound.

The Salvation Army’s efforts to treat and prevent the spread of cholera have been made possible through partnerships with Medécins du Monde, The Salvation Army’s Canada and Bermuda Territory and a donor in the Bahamas.

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