Cholera Outbreak Confirmed in Haiti, Relief Supplies En Route

COCONUT CREEK – To combat Haiti’s deadliest health problem since the catastrophic earthquake, the South Florida-based nonprofit Food For The Poor continues to install water purification systems and distribute critically needed supplies to residents of Haiti’s rural Artibonite region.

“Less than 48 hours after the first cholera cases began arriving at hospitals, Food For The Poor deployed and installed five solar powered water filtration units that each can purify up to 10,000 gallons of clean water a day,” said Daniel Rouzier, who is coordinating Food For The Poor’s crisis response in Port-au-Prince. “We will have another five water filtration units installed by the end of the day tomorrow. We are in constant contact with priests and pastors that we partner with in the Artibonite region.”

This weekend, Food For The Poor will have a total of 10 solar powered water filtration units operating in the region between Petit Reviere and Desdunes. Approximately 1 million people reside in the affected region. In Haiti, where people and animals share the same water sources, cholera can quickly spread.

“Where Food For The Poor has installed water treatment systems prior to this crisis we have not heard of a single reported case of cholera,” said Rouzier. “There is a great deal of fear in Port-au-Prince. People are quite worried that cholera cases will begin to appear in tent cities close to Port-au-Prince.”

“The situation in Haiti is serious. The people of Haiti need help, and they needed it ‘yesterday,’” said Robin Mahfood, Food For The Poor’s President/CEO. “We have shipped supplies, and we will send more but these people need everybody’s help.”

Critical items being sent are:

1) Medicines, including antibiotics and oral rehydration salts. These will be airlifted.

2) Hygiene kits with soap, toothpaste and other personal care items to help prevent spread of disease. The distribution of prepositioned supplies in the Port-au-Prince distribution center has been initiated. Approximately 31,000 personal care and hygiene kits will be shipped from the Coconut Creek distribution center. These containers left the loading docks on Friday.

3) Blankets for more than 46,600 people will be shipped from Food For The Poor’s Coconut Creek distribution Center starting Monday.

4) Gatorade and Pedialyte.

View Food For The Poor’s message from President/CEO Robin Mahfood:

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