Cholera: Fast Facts on the U.S. Government's Work in Haiti
On October 21, 2010, cholera was confirmed in the Artibonite region of Haiti. The next day, in response to the Government of Haiti’s formal request for assistance, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth H. Merten issued a disaster declaration. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Agency for International Development worked with Haiti’s Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization to set up a coordinated crisis center in Port-au-Prince.
Upon confirmation of the disease, the U.S. Government:
- Immediately responded with funding for emergency supplies, including blankets, buckets, and cleaning and disinfectant supplies.
- USAID’s partners began distributing chlorine water purification treatments, soap, educational pamphlets, and oral rehydration salts in cholera-affected areas.
Within a week of the outbreak, 12 cholera treatment facilities were being built to support isolation and treatment of cases and prepare for the potential spread of the disease. As of June 2011, the UN Health Cluster in Haiti reported a total of 252 cholera treatment facilities and 892 oral rehydration points operational throughout Haiti.
By July 2011, the U.S. Government provided expertise and more than $66 million to support cholera prevention and response activities, targeting the needs outlined in the United Nations Cholera Inter-Sector Response Strategy for Haiti.
- These efforts include support for cholera treatment facilities, improvements to water and sanitation, medical supplies and services, and information campaigns that teach the public about cholera prevention and treatment.
- Additionally, the U.S. Government and its partners are training medical staff in cholera surveillance and monitoring.
The U.S. Government’s post-earthquake initiatives included installing latrines and wash stations, and pre-positioning non-food relief commodities throughout Haiti.
The Government of Haiti anticipates that there will be a significant cholera presence for several years; indeed, although the rate of reported cases had been declining in early 2011, there has been an increase in recent weeks with the onset of the rainy and hurricane seasons. The United States will continue to support the Government of Haiti to provide the people of Haiti with adequate medical care and prevention measures necessary to reduce the impact of cholera.