Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti in late October, bringing with it a rise in cholera cases. Even though the Ministry of Health's response to cholera remains inadequate, many aid organizations are leaving the country. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs five cholera treatment centers to respond to the epidemic and teams have increased the number of beds in order to deal with the influx of patients. At the treatment centers, patients receive oral or intravenous rehydration and the most severe cases receive antibiotics.
In response to torrential rains in the Philippines, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has distributed 2,600 hygiene kits in the province of Bucalan and are assisting with outreach and clean-up.
Stories include: MSF teams treating wounded people in Misrata, Libya; the need for mental healthcare to survivors of Japan's tsunami; the new treatment target set by the United Nations to reach 15 million people living with HIV by 2015; and amendments to French law that suspend the ability of foreigners to get a temporary right of residence, which could create a public health risk.
Living conditions for people displaced by floods in Pakistan have intensified malnutrition. Malnourished children are more susceptible to potentially deadly illnesses, such as acute watery diarrhea and pneumonia.
Cholera is endemic in Pakistan, and conditions created by the recent floods greatly compound the possibility of an epidemic outbreak. MSF is taking every precaution to prevent such an outbreak from happening while preparing for a large scale response if it does.
Since severe flooding began in Pakistan in late July, MSF has been providing medical care at its pre-existing programs and through mobile clinics, working to enable access to clean drinking water, and distributing essential non-food items to millions of displaced people in order to prevent outbreaks of water related illnesses.