23 November 2010
The cholera outbreak continues to spread and cases are now present in all 10 departments across the country. With 50 per cent of the population under 18 years, many children and young people are affected and at risk. As of 15 November, Haiti’s Ministry of Health reported 18,332 cases and 1010 deaths. The numbers of cases and deaths are likely underestimated as they are largely dependent on hospital reports and do not include those in the communities.
UNICEF has appealed specifically for the cholera emergency in the 2011 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP). UNICEF’s Health programme has made an appeal of HK$45 million (US$5.8 million); WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) of HK$151 million (US$19.4 million) – to ensure rapid support to urgent and life-saving programmes throughout the country while recovery programming continues.
– A massive response to the cholera outbreak is undertaken with the priority of treatment, prevention and sensitisation messages.
– UNICEF is working with the Health Ministry and international NGO partners to the reinforce outbreak response.
– 32 staff is now in field across affected zones in Haiti. They include WASH cluster, WASH specialists and health specialists.
1. Essential Supplies
UNICEF is working to support affected communities and is helping to prevent the disease from spreading further. 40 medical structures and 74 partners, including MSF, have been assisted by UNICEF. Since the beginning of the cholera epidemic UNICEF has been supplying ongoing procurement of essential lifesaving supplies including:
- 13.8 million Aquatabs®
- 2 million Oral Rehydration Salts sachets
- 610,000 soap items
- 7,770 kg of chlorine products
- 763 tents to set-up Cholera Treatment Centres/Units
2. Health and Nutrition
The Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF and other development partners has launched the Child Health Week across the country targeting at least 85 per cent of Haiti’s children aged below 60 months with vitamin A, deworming and immunisation services. Awareness campaigns on breastfeeding, micronutrient nutrition, as well as special cholera prevention activities were also held at the launch, attracting hundreds of women to come to a health centre in Port-au-Prince with their young children. On the other hand, UNICEF is also joining other partners in an urgent call to mobilise nurses with previous cholera treatment experience within and outside the country.
UNICEF has targeted children in schools for an integrated package of interventions, and has recently launched a national training of cholera prevention and awareness trainers. Once trained, the trainers will immediately return to their respective districts to undertake their own sensitisation sessions in order to reach all children in schools.
In addition, UNICEF has been working with the government, UN partners and NGOs to cover 5,000 schools representing a total 1.2 million children and 600 Residential Care Centres serving more than 30,000 children with preventive messages, soap, access to safe water and the maintenance of sanitation.
A national, community and social mobilisation strategy is being implemented in partnership with sectoral ministries, volunteers, civil society groups, wireless phone network Voilà and other private sector groups. With the use of mass media communication such as radio, television and SMS, at least 80 per cent of the total population is targeted.
4. Child Protection
To cover basic needs of psychological security and the prevention of mass diseases, UNICEF is providing psychosocial support to 6 Residential Care Centres holding a total of 438 children separated from their families. UNICEF is also supporting 350 Child Friendly Spaces providing children with psychosocial support and life skills training.