PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, October 21, 2010 – UNICEF, alongside the Ministry of Health, DINEPA (Direction Nationale de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement) and NGO partners, is responding to recent cases of acute watery diarrhea that have been reported in the southern part of the Artibonite Department north of Port-au-Prince. Symptoms reported include severe and profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pains.
UNICEF, with its partners on the ground in the Saint-Marc region, is distributing available supplies including water purification chemicals, antibiotics, diarrheal disease kits and oral rehydration salts, with more supplies being dispatched. These supplies will complement the stocks already pre-positioned in Gonaives under UNICEF’s contingency plan.
“Children are amongst the most vulnerable due to the severe dehydration caused by diarrhea,” says UNICEF Emergency Health Specialist Doctor Chantal Umutoni. “UNICEF and partner ACTED were quick to respond with water chemicals to ensure water treatment; we also have medical supplies such as antibiotics and IV fluids,” Dr Umutoni added after making her first evaluation in the Saint-Marc region this morning.
A meeting was convened today by the Prime Minister where it was decided that the Ministry of Health would coordinate all efforts in close contact with the Civil Protection Bureau and the Direction Départementale de la Santé, as well as WASH and Health Clusters. UNICEF as co-chair of the WASH Cluster with DINEPA and as a member of the WHO coordinated Health Cluster is assisting the Ministry of Health.
UNICEF is on standby for possible additional deployment to support the Ministry of Health along with partners Action Contre la Faim (ACF), ACTED and Zanmi lasante.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For further information, please contact:
UNICEF Country Office, Haiti:
Jean Jacques Simon, Chief Communications;
Cell + 509-3702 3698,
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York;
Tel + 1 212 326 7426;
Earthquake in Haiti