There are now dozens of confirmed cases of cholera in the Haitian capital Port au Prince, with health officials saying they fear the disease will spread rapidly in the city’s crowded and unsanitary slums and camps. Members of the Disasters Emergency Committee have played an important role in preparing the city for such an outbreak. According to the Pan American Health Organisation, Haiti now faces the prospect of an extensive outbreak in Port au Prince and tens of thousands of cases in the coming years. The £103m already raised by the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal can be used by member agencies to respond to this threat.
Cholera causes acute watery diahorrea, which helps it spread very quickly. If untreated, over half of patients can die of dehydration, often within hours. Fortunately, the disease can usually be treated with oral rehydration therapy which is cheap and very effective. Ensuring proper hygiene and providing clean water is absolutely essential to prevent the spread of the disease.
The DEC’s emergency appeals close after six months to allow our members to plan how they will spend the money raised in the most effective way possible over a two or three year period. This routine closure of appeal funds also helps reduce administration costs when donations start to decline.
The DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal is now closed.