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Haiti - Epidemic : UNICEF works day and night
04/11/2010 12:40:50

Haiti - Epidemic : UNICEF works day and night
"The UNICEF staff work day and night with our partners to contain the cholera epidemic," said Francoise Gruloos-Ackermans, UNICEF's representative in Haiti. "The potential arrival of Tropical Storm Tomas compromises the work to date and represents a new threat of cholera, water-borne disease could be spread by flooding."

"This threat appears, while the country is still struggling to recover from the earthquake of January," added Ms. Gruloos-Ackermans.

UNICEF works in close collaboration with WHO, WFP and OCHA to coordinate the international response, particularly in view of a combination of the cholera epidemic of a tropical storm and consequences of the earthquake of January which could cause a new urgency across the country.

Information of communities and families about preventive measures to protect themselves from cholera is one of the priorities established. Community workers share and disseminate information on health and sanitation with the public while distributing oral rehydration solutions and tablets for purifying water. Patients and their families treated in health centers are also aware.

UNICEF focuses its distribution of medical products, nutritional and health in areas southwest of Port-au-Prince. In anticipation of Tropical Storm, reserve of materials are pre-positioned and distributed over the island, including in areas not yet affected by the cholera epidemic. These reserves consist of kits for purifying water, plastic sheets, oral rehydration salts, jerry cans, tablets to purify water, and zinc tablets, which reduce the effects of diarrhea.

UNICEF is also preparing supplies used in the fields of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, hygiene, such as essential drugs, therapeutic food, buckets, soap, water reservoirs and purification products water for Grande Anse departments south and southeast, which could be isolated because of the rains.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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