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Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on October 27, 2010

Labels: Haiti , Humanitarian Aid

At the request of the Haiti Minister of Health, Project HOPE has responded swiftly to the country’s cholera outbreak.

Yesterday, an additional six HOPE volunteers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston arrived at L’hopital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, located in the Artibonite River Valley, the ground-zero for the cholera epidemic with a population of 300,000.

The good news is that these HOPE volunteers, when they arrived, found fewer patients being admitted with cholera. That said, they are now treating 60 cholera patients in a facility that normally has 80 beds -- and is still caring for patients with long-term injuries from the January earthquake.

In addition to patient care, the HOPE volunteers will train area residents, throughout the Artibonite Valley, how to prevent the spread of the disease with good personal hygiene and proper food handling, as well as clean water usage. Even with the current numbers of cholera patients at L’hopital Albert Schweitzer, it is still early in the disease outbreak process.

In keeping with our intent to do all we can to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the spread of the disease, HOPE will be sending two additional volunteer physicians from the MGH to Haiti on Thursday, one a pediatric and the other an adult specialist in infectious diseases.

For the health of the Haitian people, we are working hard to reduce widespread suffering and death from the cholera outbreak. Your support means much to HOPE. I look forward to sharing my next update with you.

John

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