In October 2010, a cholera epidemic emerged in Haiti. The cases originated in the Artibonite Department and quickly spread to the Central Plateau, West, North and South departments. World Vision responded immediately, deploying medical teams to affected areas and providing medical supplies, hygiene kits and water treatment equipment to hospitals and communities.
World Vision’s cholera response is two-pronged, encompassing both prevention and treatment. Our priority is assisting communities where we have existing earthquake response and long-term development programmes.
In camps in Port-au-Prince, World Vision has increased clean water distribution and installed hand-washing stations, and has also implemented water testing, cleaning and desludging of latrines, and mass soap distributions and cholera awareness campaigns for children and adults.
Treatment of cholera requires rapid rehydration and the provision of antibiotics to fight the bacteria. The first line of treatment is provided through a network of community-based oral rehydration centres (ORCs), which treat milder cases and refer moderate and severe cases to cholera treatment units (CTUs) and cholera treatment centres (CTCs) respectively.
World Vision plans to operate ORCs and open CTUs in underserviced areas of Port-au-Prince, La Gonave, Central Plateau, and the Fond Parisien border area.
There are also plans to open CTCs in Fond Parisien and La Gonave.
Meanwhile, World Vision continues cholera prevention work on La Gonave and in the North, South, Artibonite and Central Plateau departments, all of which are among the most vulnerable to the spread of the disease.
Conditions conducive to the spread of cholera in Haiti, including a lack of potable water, inadequate sanitation and health facilities, and poor hygiene practices give experts reason to predict up to 400,000 cases in the first year.