IHR/Epidemic Alert and Response and Water Borne Diseases
On Tuesday 30 November the Dominican Republic celebrated a National Day of Education and Prevention of Cholera, which began with a message from the country's President urging people to prevent the disease. The message was transmitted through all main radio and TV stations in the country.
The event was supported by the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization, the Dominican Medical Association, the Dominican Society of Infectious Diseases and other scientific societies whose executives were involved throughout the day on a Media Tour, appearing on the most popular radio and TV programs. Also involved were the Ministry of Education and other governmental and civil society institutions, transport unions, municipalities, among others.
TV spots on preventive measures and proper oral serum preparation were broadcast throughout the day. In the Haiti border area, radio messages were broadcast in Spanish and Creole. Loudspeakers blasted preventive measures in both languages. Over a 100,000 volunteers participated in the event throughout the country.
At the local level, there was a major mobilization and activities were organized by the provincial directorates of health, local authorities and civil society organizations, with the participation of the media. Brigades were mobilized to the most vulnerable neighborhoods with messages on prevention, hygiene and trash removal. Each household received bleach for water purification.
Prior to the National Day, Sunday 28 November, staff from the Directorate General of Health Promotion and Education, and Health Area II of the Ministry of Health conducted house to house visits in El Dique, Los Mina, a sector with several confirmed cases of cholera so far. This area was visited by the Minister of Health, who led the campaign for guidance to the families of the dam. Residents of this area became part of the day for prevention.
Throughout the day on 30 November, flyers were distributed in the main streets and parks of Santo Domingo and other cities of the country. In shopping centers and other gathering places of large numbers of people giant banners were placed with the recommended measures to prevent cholera:
- Wash hands:
- Before eating
- Before handling food
- After using the toilet
- After changing baby's diaper
- Consume only boiled or purified water
- Eating foods cooked