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RedR sends team to Haiti to combat spread of disease

Engineering disaster relief charity RedR and French relief organisation Bioforce sent a joint mission to disaster-stricken Haiti on Tuesday as sanitation became a serious issue on the island.

Some 200,000 are estimated to have died following the 7.0-magni tude ear thquake centred near the capital Port-au- Prince on 12 January.

The combination of food and water shortages and a lack of shelter or sewers is said to be creating perfect conditions for the spread of disease among the estimated 1M made homeless by the quake.

In an area opposite the collapsed Presidential Palace a single portable toilet is available for some 2,000 people in the makeshift camp.

The UN, Oxfam and other aid organisations have joined forces to dig latrines for 20,000 people, said Unicef’s coordinator for water and sanitation Silvia Gaya.

Outbreak worries

Partners in Health Haiti clinical director Louise Ivers said she feared a mass outbreak of measles, “which would really be potentially devastating” for camps where there are up to 10,000 people living.

Dengue fever, malaria, cholera, dysentery and tetanus are also significant worries. The RedR/Bioforce team will assess the medium to long-term training needs for the international aid community.

The team of RedR’s Margaret Heraty and Bioforce’s Jean-Phillippe Lezau will assess what skills and knowledge gaps exist and develop a training programme.

  • RedR’s annual “Wear red for RedR” day is being held on 12 February
  • Visit the RedR website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.


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