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Haiti - Cholera Epidemic : MSF organizes the relay of its treatment centers
4 1/2 months after the beginning of the cholera epidemic, finding for several weeks a significant decrease in the number of admissions, in Haiti, MSF is gradually reducing, its support device and organizes the relay of most of its structures to the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and other international actors.
The dry season in Haiti, less conducive to the spread of the disease, is one of the possible reason for the decline in new cases. In addition, the isolation of patients in the cholera treatment centers, the treatment of contaminated sites, the water chlorination on the various sites and the vast public awareness efforts conducted by MSF and other actors have had a positive effect on the evolution of the epidemic. "At first, the population knew nothing about cholera and was very afraid [...] Now, it's very different, people realize the importance of this work of chlorination" explained Caroline Seguin, emergency coordinator, recalling that we must remain vigilant because cholera remain present in Haiti and the rainy season will start soon, increasing the risk of a resurgence of the epidemic. "It is difficult to predict the evolution of the situation. That is why we maintain a presence and we will continue to monitor the evolution in the coming months in Haiti."
To date, MSF teams have treated over 115,000 patients in eight departments. "Today, to each location, the evolution of the number of cases handled and the existence of treatment capacity of proximity are the two parameters taken into account to organize the handover" explains Caroline Seguin. Despite the presence of many international organizations in Haiti, too few of them are currently involved in the support to the structures of caring and chlorination of water points, yet simple to implement and inexpensive .
On the sites where a relay is possible, MSF made donations of medicines and medical equipment. "We make sure, to Port-de-Paix, that the structures who take the relay will be able to absorb the cholera cases. A MSF team made an epidemiological monitoring of the situation. We are in contact with the relay structures and we ask them to alert us in case of influx" adds Dominique Bernard, field coordinator for MSF.
MSF which has been present for twenty years in Haiti,
therefore continues to monitor the situation regarding the cholera and continues, in parallel, its other activities.
Last cholera assessment : since the beginning of the cholera epidemic in Haiti (October 19, 2010), 248.442 people were infected and treated, 133.921 people were hospitalized and 4.627 people died. According to the latest report from the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), dated of February 25, 2011.
Lire aussi :
HL/ HaitiLibre / MSF