After the cholera outbreak: situation in Haiti is not easing

by SRI,  2010/10/26

In Germany, first TV programmes render reports about the fight against the malicious cholera epidemic in Haiti being already won. The number of infected persons was hardly increasing anymore, and there also were no further casualties.

However, when talking to our coordinator Caroline Klein, who is treating cholera patients with two mission teams in Drouin, it soon becomes clear that the epidemic is still encroaching. This assessment of the situation is also published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Being the advance party of the second mission team, Dr Rashid al Badi (left, Tübingen) and Simon Oeckenpöhler (Cologne) had already set out from Frankfurt on the Main to Haiti on Sunday night. Photo: humedica/SRI

This morning, agencies are stating that 259 persons have died according to sources in the Haitian government. The UN-Ocha confirmed an official number of 254 deaths and stated that far more than 3000 persons had been infected with cholera. The statistics show almost the same, sad numbers.

Regarding the interpretation of the current situation, however, opinions differ more strongly. State authorities take the situation very serious; decision-makers of the WHO have even taken one step further for some days by taking advantage of the latest meeting of non-governmental organisations to contradict first reports of the epidemic getting under control.

“This must be contradicted firmly,” also confirmed humedica coordinator Caroline Klein. “Rather the opposite is the case: we know that the cholera epidemic is spreading further in the north and that a lot of people there need help. The situation definitely is not under control and there are still places where people suffering from cholera have no access to any kind of medical care.”

Two medical teams of humedica are still working at the hospital of Drouin. In cooperation with UNICEF, today first medical treatments will also be carried through in medical tents and furthermore, shipments of relief goods and the care offered by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund are contributing to a broader spectrum of aid options.

“We can work efficiently, and our help is urgently needed,” told Caroline Klein only some minutes ago on the phone. The team which has been on its mission since Friday was reinforced by new assistants from Germany yesterday. Dr Tobias Kees (Tübingen), Dr Rashid al Badi (Tübingen) and the medical students Simon Oeckenpöhler (Cologne) and Ferdinand Hofer (Tübingen) already have substantial experience in the field of relief medicine.

Together with our partner Stiftung des Deutschen Insituts für Katastrophenmedizin (Foundation of the German Institute for Relief Medicine, Tübingen), humedica would like to ask the people in Germany for their targeted donations in order to fight the cholera epidemic in Haiti:

humedica e. V.
Donation Reference “Haiti Cholera
Account 47 47
Bank Code 734 500 00
Sparkasse Kaufbeuren
            

You can also support us in a secure, fast and direct way by means of a donation via text message: simply send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90. Of the 5 euros you donate, 4.83 euros will be channelled directly into the humedica relief projects.

For media representatives:

Our mission team members in Haiti or Steffen Richter, our press spokesman, will be pleased to answer your questions or to take part in an interview. Please do not hesitate to contact us using the following contact data. Thank you very much.

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