Cholera Outbreak Update
Children are safe, we are helping fight the epidemic.
October 23, 2010 - Haiti
Thank you for all of the emails, thoughts, and prayers concerning the Cholera outbreak in Haiti. I just wanted to give a quick update so you all may know how we are responding here.
All our children are healthy and untouched by the epidemic. They are safe in Kenscoff, two hours south of Port-au-Prince, while St. Marc is north of the capital.
For the past two nights we have visited St. Nicholas Hospital in St. Marc, which is the center of the outbreak. We will leave to go back in an hour or so. Our activities and strategy here center around three things:
1) Direct support with supplies and human resources at the hospital there. We have brought beds, syrum
for IVs, food, gloves and other basic supplies. The people staffing the hospital are working very hard, but
there are many new and gravely ill patients each day and it is difficult to keep up with. We will assist with the human aspect.
Helping to keep the patients clean and hygenic is very difficult due to the nature of the sickness (diareah and
vomiting are the main symptoms) and the lack of space and facilities. We move the patients that we can from
the floor to beds, we refill IVs, and we clean the patients.
2) We have offered to assist in creating a "phase two" center for patients who are able to be removed from IVs and can resume oral hydration with Pedialyte, gatorade, or home made syrums. We hope to set up a temporary center close to the current hospital in St. Marc to help allow them to accept urgent patients more quickly.
3) We are preparing the facilities at St Damien's and St Luc's Hospital. We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. The conditions in the country make it very hard to control the spread. There are reports of cases popping up further south, towards
Tabarre, where we are located, but we have yet to see a real influx of patients. Regardless we are getting the supplies we need and making plans for large triage and treatment areas in the case they become necessary.
At our orphanage in Kenscoff...
In order to prepare ourselves we are reinforcing the conduction of preventive measures such as the use of water-disinfectant-solutions for our potable water. Jan Weber, our Regional Medical Coordinator had gone from house to house to check use of the water solution on hand and reinforced the necessity of hand washing among kids and staff.
Our guard at the main-gate was advised to inform the clinic staff in case in anybody with obvious symptoms would show up seeking help at our orphanage clinic in order to for us to provide transport to our hospital in Tabarre were adequate medical assistance can be provided.
The child caregivers were advised to clean the bathrooms with a disinfecting Clorox-solution on a daily basis. The clinic inventory was double-checked to make sure that enough Oral-dehydration-Sold-solution, IV-solutions and Antibiotics are on stock for first aid measures.
The same reinforce preventive measures are implemented among the staff and children at the St. Anne Baby House and St. Louis Child Protection Camp in Tabarre.
Thanks very truly for thoughts and prayers, we will keep you posted.
Assistant National Director