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As Cholera Outbreak Spreads, World Vision Deploys Teams to Distribute Emergency Health Supplies, Focus on Preventative Measures
Date:10/24/2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the cholera outbreak continues to spread in the Artibonite region of Haiti, World Vision is increasing its response in affected areas, pre-positioning much-needed health supplies and preparing residents in its displacement camps in Port-au-Prince with critical, life-saving health and hygiene messages.

"While we can't be sure the direction this will take, we're preparing for challenging weeks ahead," said World Vision's Program Director in Port-au-Prince, Sabrina Pourmand Nolen. "Right now, the priority is to continue doing everything we can to stop the spread of this fast-moving disease."

On Wednesday, the international relief organization deployed a team of 12 nurses, a doctor, and about 50 community health workers to Mirebalais, a community approximately 50 miles southeast of St. Marc, where the group developed and executed a rapid awareness campaign at seven schools, reaching an estimated 3,000 students. They discussed how the illness is caught and what to do to avoid it. A team has also been sent to Mirebalais to supplement World Vision's relief efforts – assessing water sources, sanitation facilities and latrines, while simultaneously providing messaging around prevention and distribution of oral rehydration solution, soap, and water treatment tablets.

"Malnourished children, people living with HIV and AIDS and the elderly are the most vulnerable right now," Nolen said. "We are doing everything we can to let people know that simple measures like hand washing can save lives."

World Vision's health manager in Port-au-Prince, Dr. Reginald Lubin, noted that cholera is caused by a bacterial infection which can cause people to lose more than 30 liters of fluid in a single day.


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