PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (WATE) – When advanced medical teams arrived in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew they found starving villages and virtually no medical resources.
The Category 4 storm that hit on October 4 killed at least 473 people, according to national emergency officials, and the wreckage it left behind has created the perfect conditions for spreading the water-borne disease. Matthew sent rivers and outdoor latrines overflowing across the mountainous landscape. Cholera-contaminated water has leeched into people’s drinking wells, those that weren’t ruined by Matthew’s storm surge.
Many thousands of people whose homes were ruined are sharing close quarters with family and friends, the kind of proximity amid poor sanitation that aids in transmission. Remote Area Medical said cholera is spiking.
Remote Area Medical sent to two teams to Haiti. The advanced medical team arrived October 10 and a second team arrived October 16. Additionally, the Remote Area Medical aircraft have dropped 10,000 high-nutrition meals.
“Lots of people here had little before this disaster and now they have nothing. RAM expects to be involved with relief efforts for many weeks to come,” said Remote Area Medical President and founder Stan Brock.
The Knoxville-based non-profit is also responding to South Carolina. Remote Area Medical said a medical team of volunteers will deploy within the next 7-10 days. Anyone interested in volunteer.ramusa.org.
To help fund the fuel required for these relief efforts, people can email RAM at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-865-579-1530. They can also go to ramusa.org and go to ‘Disaster Relief” and donate by hitting the “Aid Our Disaster Relief Efforts” button at the bottom of the page.
Continuing coverage: Hurricane Matthew