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.
This month, we focus on Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)'s efforts to improve the situation in South Sudan's Yida refugee camp, a makeshift hospital in Syria, aid to victims of flooding in the Philippines, displaced Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, fighting cholera in Guinea and Sierra Leone, and the successful containment of an Ebola outbreak in Uganda.
Since it was disclosed that the cholera epidemic that struck Haiti in 2010 was inadvertently brought to the island by a United Nations (UN) battalion from Nepal, many of the 500,000 people affected by the disease have requested certificates proving they were treated, in hopes of receiving compensation from the UN. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing thousands of former patients with medical certificates.
The people of Kaabong District, located in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda, have the unenviable title of being among the poorest in the country. Large parts of the population suffer from violence and chronic neglect—70 percent cannot access health care. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) purpose in Kaabong is to help strengthen government health services. Teams are supporting nine Ministry of Health centers and the district referral hospital. They also run mobile clinics to isolated areas, offering medical services to the many people who can't reach a health facility on their own.
An MSF team of a Haitian health promoter and an international staff psychologist travel to different areas in the Artibonite region to promote MSF's cholera treatment services and inform the public on how to prevent getting the disease.
In the Cité Soleil area of Port-au-Prince, MSF distributes 300,000 liters of water every day to more than 15,000 people. Here, MSF water and sanitation specialist Katelijne Van Eyck conducts much-needed water testing.
Since cholera began to spread in Haiti, MSF has treated more than 18,000 patients in 27 Cholera Treatment Centers (CTCs) throughout the country and is anticipating treating many more in the coming days.