The Salvation Army Haiti and Médecins du Monde Partner to Fight the Cholera Epidemic
William C. Hale
HAITI– A new cholera treatment center (CTC) was opened on Jan. 25.
Erected in just 15 days, the project required the leveling of land, clearing of roads and installation of waste removal and water delivery systems on the plot of land formerly used as a farm by The Salvation Army in Fond des Negres.
The CTC features a carefully designed maze of tents that are sanitized and prepared to receive and care for patients through every stage of infection. From triage to recovery, the CTC delivers intensive rehydration therapy and monitors fluids lost in order to balance rehydration efforts.
There have been nearly 4,000 confirmed cholera-related deaths throughout the country since the epidemic began in late 2010. The Salvation Army’s Bethel Clinic, at its peak of treatment, saw some 250 cases in only two months. The opening of the CTC will increase the Army’s capacity to effectively treat those in the surrounding communities who suffer from the infection. According to the United Nations, the Cholera mortality rate is down from 10 percent to two percent. With the addition of the CTC, The Salvation Army and Médecins du Monde are doing their part to insure those numbers continue to decline.
In addition to the quarantine and treatment areas of the Bethel Clinic, The Salvation Army has been taking steps to prevent the spread of Cholera since the epidemic began. Vital supplies including soap, disinfectant, oral rehydration packets and antibiotics have been distributed via community centers (churches and schools) throughout the country. In Port-au-prince, efforts have continued through the primary health clinic, College Verena primary and secondary school and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp next to The Salvation Army’s compound.
The Salvation Army’s efforts to treat and prevent the spread of Cholera have been made possible through partnerships with Médecins du Monde, The Salvation Army’s Canada and Bermuda territories and a donor in the Bahamas.