PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An International Medical Corps team is deploying with supplies to St. Marc, a coastal town in the Artibonite region of Haiti, where more than 1,526 cases and 138 deaths have been confirmed as the result of a cholera outbreak. As the only member of the UN emergency response team, International Medical Corps is ready to deploy a full Emergency Response team with doctors and nurses to the area within 24 hours, if needed.
"International Medical Corps is extremely concerned at the speed in which this outbreak spread," says Dr. Jojo Cangao, International Medical Corps medical director in Haiti. "We have already begun community outreach and prepositioning of supplies in the camps in which we work in Port-au-Prince in case the outbreak moves south." More than one million people have been living in displacement camps since the January 12 earthquake, which killed more than 300,000.
There are already reports of the outbreak moving south, closer to Port-au-Prince, and International Medical Corps is pre-positioning supplies for orphanages in that area. Supplies, such as IV saline solution, water purification tablets, and oral rehydration salts, are being collected to dispatch to Artibonite if needed and to preposition in camps where International Medical Corps runs clinics. International Medical Corps is also coordinating with partners in camps where it has clinics to begin community education campaigns on cholera prevention, identification, and treatment - and clinic staff are being trained in cholera treatment and management.
"We are prepared to support the emergency response to the cholera outbreak however is most needed, whether through medical personnel, supplies, or both," says Dr. Cangao.
International Medical Corps has extensive experience in cholera outbreak response, management, and prevention, with its most recent responses in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Iraq. Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene are also one of its top organizational priorities, with such programs in countries including Haiti, Somalia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information, visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org.
SOURCE International Medical Corps