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AmeriCares and International Medical Corps Airlift Relief for Cholera Outbreak In Iraq
Date:10/4/2007

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AmeriCares and International Medical Corps (IMC) are delivering critical medicines to Iraq in an emergency airlift responding to the cholera outbreak in that country.

Cholera and other forms of dehydrating watery diarrhea have spread through northern Iraq recently, affecting some 30,000 people there. The first cholera cases were reported in Baghdad at the end of September. According to healthcare workers in the country, there is a shortage of medicines to control these disease(s) that can spread widely and rapidly. Cholera is a severe intestinal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that causes a massive loss of fluid and is deadly within hours if not treated. It is spread by contaminated water or food. The cholera and diarrhea outbreak in Iraq is related to the increasing lack and poor quality of drinking water and inadequate sewage systems.

When AmeriCares partner IMC made an urgent request for help to stem the epidemic, AmeriCares immediately donated IV solutions and purchased other medicines and medical supplies to treat the disease.

"When we heard of the grave situation in Iraq, we knew we could provide the help needed to aid these people desperate for care," said AmeriCares President and CEO Curt Welling. The total shipment, which includes antibiotics and catheters as well as IV solutions, is worth nearly $500,000 and can treat up to 6,000 patients.

"We are extremely grateful for AmeriCares swift and generous contribution to our humanitarian efforts in Iraq. After four years of work under extremely difficult conditions, International Medical Corps is well positioned to help our local partners in combating the crisis," says Nancy Aossey, President & CEO of International Medical Corps.

IMC will airlift the shipment to Iraq and will assist the Iraqi Ministry of Health with the distribution of the medicines where they are needed most. At least half of the donation wil
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