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.
Oxfam on the surge of cholera cases in Haiti
Mimy Muisa Kambere, Public Health Promoter for Oxfam in Haiti said: *
“The current cholera outbreak in the Carrefour area is far worse than the one registered in November. At that time, there were a maximum of 900 reported cases of cholera per week. Now, over 300 new cases are registered every single day. However, the number of casualties is far lower than we saw in November as people are able to get help faster.”
“The first cases of this new outbreak originated in a community South of Port-au-Prince, in a mountainous area, near a river. This area lacks access to sanitary facilities and there is very little available drinking water. The arrival of the heavy rains last week facilitated the spread of the bacteria into the local water sources, which may have caused the spread of the bacteria."
“We are doing all we can to stop the spread of the outbreak. Oxfam is reinforcing its water, sanitation and hygiene programs in camps where we already work in the Carrefour area. The spread of cholera can be stopped through good hygiene practices. That’s as simple as hand-washing and drinking clean water. We’re doing our utmost to get hygiene information out to as many people as possible. We are handing out soap and aquatablets to chlorinate the water as well as talking to people living in the camps about how to avoid infection. The coordination with local authorities and other NGOs in the area is vital so that we can be as effective as possible in our response. That’s what our teams are focusing on right now.”
* Mimy is in charge of the early assessment of the cholera outbreak in Carrefour, one of Port-au Prince’s poorest neighborhoods.
Roland Van Hauwermeiren, Country Director for Oxfam in Haiti said:
“Our teams are ready to provide emergency response to this recent cholera outbreak. We have already prepared an action plan for an eventual intervention: our strategy is in place, our stock is ready and our experts are already carrying out an assessment of the situation and providing a first response. We now need the international community, especially donors, to support our efforts.”
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