The Caribbean readies for potential cholera outbreak

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The recent cholera outbreak in Haiti demands measures to control existing cases and to prevent further spread of the disease. The proximity of islands in the Caribbean and the frequency of travel between the islands are added risk factors.

When Hurricane Tomas passed through the Caribbean in October 2010, some islands suffered damage to their water installations and health infrastructure, increasing their vulnerability to an outbreak of the disease. PAHO/WHO is working with disaster management entities, health ministries, and others in the Caribbean to improve measures for cholera prevention.

The United Kingdom Department for International Development is financing a nine-month project called “Readiness and Response to Cholera in the Caribbean.” The project is being led by PAHO/WHO and it aims to improve collective planning on cholera, to prepare the health sector and improve its capacity to treat cases, to improve preparedness and prevention in communities, and to strengthen early detection and timely response.

These activities are being implemented at national and regional levels with a focus on strengthening local capacity. They include efforts to develop and/or update preparedness and response plans for cholera and national emergency response plans; develop and distribute treatment protocols; increase treatment and laboratory capacity; and raise awareness in communities about preventing the spread of the disease. Other activities include travel to the Dominican Republic by authorities so they can witness firsthand the preventive measures and treatments being used there, and a training seminar to be held in Barbados. For more information on this project, contact Enric Freixa at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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