Public awareness, purification tablets and clean water are keys to controlling outbreak
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to fight the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 250 and infected in excess of 3,300 Haitians, the Pan American Development Foundation is helping to contain the disease and is seeking support for its on-the-ground recovery efforts.
"We're coordinating with the health ministry and our community partners to inform Haitians about how to stay safe, which is critical as we work to stop the spread of this deadly disease," says Amy Coughenour, PADF's deputy executive director. "Public awareness is our best preventative medicine. Despite this work, Haiti needs more help."
Cholera is a water-borne disease that is contained through proper hygiene and clean drinking water. PADF is also shipping in water purification tablets.
"Prior to the cholera outbreak, PADF and its partners rehabilitated water distribution systems. Fortunately, they are playing a key role in keeping many communities healthy," she says.
In addition to working with its network of community-based organizations throughout the country, PADF is working with 14 local disaster response committees that it previously formed and trained in the Artibornite province. It is believed that the cholera outbreak started in that province.
PADF, which has 150 people working on a wide range of recovery and development projects, is urging individuals and companies to donate to its effort to rebuild Haiti. Contributions are accepted online at www.ImUnitedforHaiti.org or by calling toll free: (877) 572-4484.
PADF, which has worked in Haiti for nearly 30 years, was a first responder after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. Its efforts directly benefited more than 1.3 million Haitians in eight months. Today, it is focusing on rebuilding Haitians' shattered lives.
"The best solution to this and future health crises will be to get people into safe homes, back to work and provide them with the tools to take care of their families," says Coughenour. "Those are our goals and we're seeing results, which are a direct result of our community partnerships."
To get people into safe homes, PADF has trained more than 100 Haitian structural engineers who have inspected 76,000 homes in Port-au-Prince since May. The engineers have certified 36,000 as safe for occupancy. It is also training local masons the techniques to repair homes. The initiative is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
"Fear of unsafe buildings has kept far too many Haitians from returning home," says Coughenour. "These inspections have meant that more than 100,000 Haitians have returned home, which is a big step in the recovery effort."
PADF is a non-profit organization established in 1962 to promote, facilitate, and implement social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the past year, it had more than 10 million beneficiaries in 22 countries. www.padf.org
PADF is one of the largest non-governmental organizations in Haiti. With nearly three decades of work on the ground, PADF now manages a large portfolio of activities ranging from community-driven development to protecting human rights. www.ImUnitedforHaiti.org
PADF is based in Washington, D.C., and has field offices in Haiti, Colombia and elsewhere. www.padf.org
Donations: (877) 572-4484
SOURCE Pan American Development Foundation