A monsoon in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province caused an increase in the number of people diagnosed with acute watery diarrhea, a condition caused by unclean drinking water, poor sanitation, and poor hygiene conditions.
In the immediate aftermath of last January’s earthquake, the potential of an outbreak of disease was a major concern. Months went by without it coming to pass, though, which seemed like a rare victory for the battered population. In September, however, word came from the Artibonite region in central Haiti, , that patients were presenting with cholera-like symptoms. Cholera had not been seen in Haiti in many decades, but the signs—rapid and severe dehydration caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhea—were all too apparent.
A nurse recently back from an MSF cholera treatment center in Port-de-Paix recounts what she saw, what was accomplished, and what remains to be done in the effort to battle the cholera outbreak in Haiti.
During the response to Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic earlier this year, medical teams from Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) started to work in prisons across the country to treat cholera patients and prevent the spread of the deadly disease. As the four-month intervention is concluding, MSF’s project coordinator in Zimbabwe, Pip Millard, gives insight into the challenge of curbing an outbreak in penitentiaries.
In Murwira Clinic, southeastern Zimbabwe, Dennis Taronga is receiving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy with the help of MSF. Taronga, a husband and father of three who used to work as a builder, contracted cholera in January 2009 in the historic cholera outbreak that infected nearly 100,000 people and left thousands dead. This is his story.
Jane Hannon, a 39-year-old nurse from Baltimore, was in Manicaland Province in eastern Zimbabwe during November and December 2008. Here, she talks about trying to help people with cholera in the middle of a large-scale, rapidly spreading outbreak, in a country that has fallen into extreme disrepair.
Luis Maria Tello, MSF emergency coordinator in Zimbabwe, encountered a devastating scene when he arrived in the town of Chegutu, 100 miles south of the capital Harare, on December 12, 2008. “The situation was absolute chaos. There were no beds and patients everywhere,” said Tello. “People were dying of thirst because there was no water. Dead people were lying everywhere."
Since the start of 2008, 767 people suffering from cholera have required treatment in a cholera treatment center (CTC) supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) the city of Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province and the economic center of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On April 17, 2007 MSF launched an emergency medical response in Afgooye, Lower Shabelle Region, about 30 kilometers west of Mogadishu. Due to insecurity in the area, MSF decided to dispatch a team of senior MSF Somali staff from Nairobi and the Dinsor Health Center to evaluate the needs of thousands of displaced people who poured into the town following major fighting in Mogadishu.
Doctors Without Borders is approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt organization, and all donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Doctors Without Borders Federal Identification Number (EIN) is 13-3433452.