CHOLERA HAITI: situation is relaxing slowly – mortality rate still high in rural areas

by Valeska Fimberger,  2011/08/30

humedica is known for its efficient and immediate relief missions – within only 48 hours our medical teams can start their work in a disaster region. But humedica also sets great store by sustainable development.

So, for example, in Haiti, where humedica has been committed to help the population by means of long-term health and rehabilitation projects since the devastating earthquake of January 2010.

Usually, people suffering from cholera recover fairly quickly after they have received a special drip infusion. The major problem is the lack of fluids which has to be compensated for immediately when starting a treatment. Photo: humedica

Klaus Ruhrmann from Rheda Wiedenbrück is a nurse and temporary coordinator of the humedica cholera project in Drouin, a village in the north of the Artibonite region. There, our team supports the Cholera Treatment Center of the state hospital and has been fighting the cholera epidemic since its breakout in October 2010 by means of treatment and prevention measures.

This is already the fifth humedica mission in Haiti for Klaus Ruhrmann, and now he can finally announce some good news: “The cholera situation has relaxed slightly.

This announcement is not only based on Klaus Ruhrmann’s personal observations, but is also confirmed by official numbers. According to the “Humanitarian Bulletin” published by OCHA Haiti, a steady decrease of cholera cases has been registered for one month. In July 2011, the Haitian Health Department only reported 40,873 new cases, i.e. about 13,000 fewer cases than in the previous month.

Also the sustainable measures of humedica have contributed to relaxing the situation: humedica has trained local professionals and by doing so has ensured in the long-term that they have the skills to counteract a cholera epidemic. Acting as “health agents” they take preventive measures, sensitise their fellow humans and distribute sanitary articles.

Also the cooperation with partners, among others the World Food Programme of the United Nations (WFP), is bearing fruit: now there are long-term and sufficient supplies of food and sanitary articles both for patients and local employees.

Thanks to a generous donation by Bild hilft e.V. – Ein Herz für Kinder, humedica could purchase an urgently needed off-road vehicle: a so-called mobile hospital that can be used in order to reach all our patients in the rough terrains of the region and to take them to a hospital in case of emergency.

Nevertheless, the threat has not been banned completely. Above all in the rural areas, like the mission location of the humedica cholera project, where people dispose of only few sanitary facilities and health stations, the mortality rate is still substantially high, according to the OCHA Bulletin.

And the dangerous cholera epidemic has not yet really been brought under control: the number of infected persons can increase once more from one moment to the next. Please continue to make targeted donations to support our cholera relief measures. Thank you very much.

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference"Earthquake Haiti"
      Account 47 47
      Bank code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren
      IBAN: 35734500000000004747

You can also make a donation in a secure, fast and simple way by means of sending a text message: send a message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90. You will be charged 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica disaster relief projects. You can also make a donation via our online form. Thank you very much!

In a few days time, Klaus Ruhrmann (65, Rheda-Wiedenbrück), an experienced nurse, will return from Haiti, where he took part in a mission of several weeks. He coordinated the diverse relief measures to fight the cholera epidemic in Drouin. Photo: humedica

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