A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Cholera outbreak in Haiti: Oxfam to reach 40,000
Oxfam’s Water and Sanitation advisor Raphael Mutiku said:
“Medical care and hospitals are well set up and we’re really getting a foothold against this disease. There is still a huge amount of work to be done to increase understanding about good personal hygiene but we can see progress on the ground. Increasing people’s access to clean water and ongoing preventive messages all across the country is what will stop the spread of this disease.
“Oxfam has now reached close to 40,000 people with distributions of soap, water purification tablets, and oral rehydration salt packs. We are also broadcasting hygiene messages on radio stations, reaching 100,000 Haitians.
“We are training Haitians to get the preventive messages out there to as many as possible. The aid community is working closely with local groups, provincial leaders and mayors to combat this disease. It’s very encouraging to see everyone coming together to help out, working around the clock to stop the spread. Cholera is a very dangerous disease, but it can be contained.”
Oxfam’s response to the cholera outbreak
Oxfam plans to help 40,000 people (8,000 families) in the cholera hit area. Some 7,000 people (1,400 families) have received soap, aquatabs (chlorine tablets to treat 40 liters of drinking water a day) and Oral Rehydration Salt sachets (a simple treatment for dehydration associated with diarrhea). Oxfam will distribute 5,000 buckets to families who collect their water from the river; the water will be chlorinated in the buckets.
Oxfam will be testing water quality of shallow wells for chemical and biological contaminants due to possible contamination from agricultural chemicals and manure.
In Port au Prince and other earthquake affected areas Oxfam will distribute soap to all families in the camps where the agency works and will have a contingency plan for 50,000 people (10,000 families).
In Haiti: Julie Schindall +1 617 735 5572 +509 3701 0651
In USA: Louis Belanger +1 917 224 0834, @louis_press