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Team from Bangladesh Will Train Haitian Health Professionals to Better Care for Patients; Represents the First Official Cholera Training from Ministry of Health since the Outbreak

Millwood, VA, November 16, 2010

16 November 2010 – Millwood, Va. – As the number of deaths related to the cholera outbreak in Haiti nears 1,000, Project HOPE, the global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, is deploying a team of international cholera experts to train Haitian health care professionals to better care for and manage the rapidly growing number of patients suffering from the illness.

The eight-person team from the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) brings decades of experience in the treatment of cholera and dysentery. The ICDDR,B has assisted governments and local health authorities in countries such as Bahrain, Ecuador, Iraq, Mozambique, Peru, Zaire, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe, in successfully handling cholera outbreaks.

Four Project HOPE volunteer health professionals and four representatives from the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) will join the ICDDR,B experts to train Haitian health professionals.

“The cholera outbreak is spreading throughout Haiti and the country’s health care workers need more knowledge about how to effectively address the crisis,” said Frederick Gerber, Director of Special Projects at Project HOPE. “With Project HOPE’s and ICDDR,B’s emphasis on health education, it is exactly what the country needs now to slow and eventually end the outbreak.”

Project HOPE is coordinating the training through the Haiti Ministry of Health. It is the first official cholera training offered through the Haiti Ministry of Health since the cholera outbreak emerged.

The Project HOPE-ICDDR,B-USAID team will divide into two groups and fan out to conduct training over a three-week period beginning on November 16 in all of Haiti’s 10 departments (states). Currently, cholera cases have been reported in eight of Haiti’s 10 departments.

“Unfortunately, the cholera situation will get worse before it gets better,” said Gerber. “Some health experts believe that it is only a matter of days before cholera cases are reported in all 10 Haitian departments. That is why the training that HOPE, ICDDR,B and USAID will provide is greatly needed.”

Two trucks with medical supplies for the treatment of cholera patients will travel with each training team. The trainers will leave behind supplies such as antibiotics, IV solutions, oral rehydration salts and antibacterial hand gels used for the treatment and prevention of cholera.

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Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.

Media Contact

Rand Walton
Director of Strategic Communications, Project HOPE
Tel: +1 540 837-9469
Email: rwalton@projecthope.org

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