Fighting cholera in Haiti: Malteser International provides tents for cholera treatment and teaches preventive hygiene measures
By Petra Ipp-Zavazal 10/27/2010
Cologne/Léogâne. At three project locations in Haiti, Malteser International, the relief service of the Order of Malta for worldwide humanitarian aid, intensifies its efforts to prevent an outbreak of cholera. Malteser International will provide three tents for a hospital of “Doctors without Borders” to be set up for cholera treatment in Léogâne. Here, 300 cholera patients can be accommodated and treated in case of an epidemic spread. Up to now, no cholera cases have been reported in Léogâne district. “This is a measure of precaution to impede the spread of cholera. In case of an epidemic, we have to be able to quickly care for the infected”, Maren Paech, Malteser International Senior Desk Officer Haiti, explains. About 3,800 infected Haitians have been registered during the last days. The infection originated in the region of Artibonite in the north of Port-au-Prince.
In Darbonne and its hinterland, located in Léogâne district in the west of the capital, Malteser International is distributing soap as well as leaflets in Creole language. The leaflets inform the patients at the health centre, villagers coming to the mobile clinics, and school children about the dangerous disease. During special hygiene education sessions in schools, nurses explain what cholera means, how the children can protect themselves and what to do when they fall ill. The most efficient protection against an infection is clean drinking water and hygiene. Therefore, Malteser International also provides clean drinking water for the population. In addition, 1,800 hygiene kits for cholera prevention will be distributed to the families in Darbonne.
In the hospital Sacré Coeur in Milot, supported by the Order of Malta for several years, the medical staff is prepared for the treatment of up to 1,000 cholera patients. Fortunately, no cholera cases have been registered in this region up to now.
Maren Paech, Senior Desk Officer Haiti is available for interviews. Contact: 0049-221-9822-155
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Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 200 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.org