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CARE Works With Women in Haiti to Keep Disease at Bay
Date:1/18/2010

Humanitarian Group Teaches Water Purification Techniques in Quake's Wake

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CARE's disaster-response teams find themselves in a race against time in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, coaching survivors how to purify contaminated water and preparing hygiene kits to help prevent a secondary crisis: the outbreak of disease.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100118/DC39332)

The Haitian capital lacks sewer infrastructure. And the massive quake ruptured water lines, creating a perfect formula for the spread of water-borne disease, particularly as those left homeless are forced into close quarters with limited options for sanitation.

Safe water is crucial for every survivor of Tuesday's quake – but especially for pregnant women, new mothers, and small children, said Dr. Franck Geneus, coordinator of CARE's health program in Haiti. Some 37,000 pregnant women in the disaster zone are in desperate need of food, clean drinking water and/or access to health care. "We are concerned that women may stop breastfeeding because they do not have enough food or water themselves," Geneus said. "That poses a huge risk to newborns."

Dr. Geneus and other CARE staffers have hit the streets to give women a crash course in using the 600,000 water-purification packets CARE is distributing in Port-au-Prince. CARE shows them how to empty the powder into buckets, wait for solids to form and strain the clumps out with cloth. In minu
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