The Progressive


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For Immediate Release
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CARE Steps Up Haiti Response as Cholera Cases Surge

Medical facilities in hardest-hit areas overwhelmed by cholera victims, says CARE staff in Haiti


government reports a sharp increase in the number of Haitians killed
and hospitalized by an outbreak of cholera. According to Haiti's
Ministry of Health, 11,125 people have been hospitalized with cholera as
of November 9 and 724 people are reported dead. Three days earlier,
Haitian officials reported 8,138 hospitalized and 544 dead. Cholera is
now confirmed present in at least six of Haiti's 10 provinces, as well
as in its capital and largest city, Port-au-Prince. The number of
victims is expected to continue rising in days and weeks ahead.

spreads in water contaminated by feces. Heavy rains from last weekend's
Hurricane Tomas sent water and mud contaminated with feces pouring into
streets, buildings and homes. Cholera causes severe diarrhea and
dehydration. Untreated, it can kill within hours.

date, CARE has distributed high-energy biscuits, water purification
tablets, oral rehydration salts, and hygiene kits to more than 16,000
people in the hardest-hit areas. CARE's public information campaign
instructing Haitians on how best avoid and prevent cholera has reached
at least 200,000 people. Additionally, CARE provides clean water and
safe latrine facilities to 50,000 people living in camps for survivors
of Haiti's January 12 earthquake.

''CARE's staff in
Haiti is collaborating with health and water sanitation experts to
ensure Haitians are aware of cholera's risks, and remedies around
cholera,'' said Dr. Franck Geneus, CARE's Health Manager in Haiti. ''We
have teams on the ground in Carrefour, Leogane, St. Michelle, Petite
Riviere, St. Marc, Grand Saline and elsewhere.''

province, where Haiti's cholera outbreak began last month, is the
primary focus of CARE's public information and relief campaign.

facilities [in Artibonite] are overwhelmed with cholera victims,'' says
Geneus. ''The people are afraid and angry. They don't completely
understand what is happening right now. People have to understand,
cholera is something new to Haiti.''

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.