Last week, a standard early-fall storm swept through the city of Port-au-Prince. In a span of 10 minutes, the strong winds damaged thousands of tents, injured many, and killed at least 5 people. With most of the quake's 1.5 million homeless survivors still living in sprawling tent cities, the heavy rainfall left them at a dangerous public health crossroad. The precarious water supply is forcing many to drink from the rainwater flowing from gutters and sewers. Hence, more people will be fighting deadly waterborne diseases.
The great American novelist and activist, James Baldwin, once said that we must look unblinkingly at the circumstances, confront the constructed reality, face the tears of the wounded, and harness ourselves to a great collective effort toward justice.
The Communities in Schools Dallas Region (CISDR) is a stay-in-school program, founded in 1985.CISDR partnered with the Exxon Mobil program Girls Exploring Math and Science.The two groups will participate in the 2010 TEDxKids event. One of the goals of the event was to have the participating students complete a service learning project. These students chose to support the Haitian De-Worming project because they felt they could make a positive impact in the lives of many Haitians. They rallied together and created a penny drive in order to purchase and ship albendazole tablets to Haiti. Their tagline was simple: one penny is enough to rid one person of debilitating intestinal worms. There campaign was so successful, that they raised $1816.29!
Bertin is the biggest slum in the town of Carrefour and is located 5 miles west of the center of Port-au-Prince. The neighborhood is very poor and ill-serviced and has an estimated population of over 400,000 people. International Action installed 10 chlorinators between 2006 and 2007 and has been working with local water board members to maintain chlorinators and distribute de-worming pills.
First I would like to thank International Action for the positive work they are doing in my country, Haiti. Thank you for targeting the issues at their root by trying to eliminate the problem, not just dealing with the negative outcomes. The purpose of my email is to inform International Action that I will be having a medical mission in Carrefour, Haiti at the College Elie Blaise starting Saturday, June 25. During the mission we will offer complete physical examination, screening (diabetes & blood pressure), eye exams, patient education to raise awareness, screening and treatment for malnutrition, acid reflux, wound care and much more.
International Action’s Haiti office is distributing 500,000 albendazole de-worming pills to protect Haiti’s communities and get its children healthy and back in school. The pills are available free of charge to non-profit or community organizations that can administer them.
We just received 500,000 doses of de-worming medicine in Port-au-Prince. We will distribute the pills through our local Water Boards in 23 neighborhoods and several school systems in the city.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says worms eat up to 20% of a child's nutritional intake everyday. Haitians are among the poorest fed children in the world, and no child there can afford to lose 20% of their food.
The mission of le Bon Samaritain founded in 1989 by a Canadian named René Marcotte in the city of Montrouis, a coastal town located in the West Department north of Port-au-Prince. Since its creation, the mission has repaired and built many schools in the region, founded an orphanage and recently erected a two story clinic with a lab and pharmacy. The staff immediately decided to use the clinic as a point of clean water distribution for the patients as well as the population. A filtering system was installed but due to technical difficulties the project had to be terminated.
In Port-au-Prince, Dalebrun and our team of plumbers go around our circuit of neighborhoods to check the chlorinator installations and supply water boards with chlorine tablets; this month the team also brought with them boxes of de-worming albendazole pills.
Recently two members of our Washington Staff – Youngmin Chang and Amélie Cardon – visited several of the poorest and most dangerous parts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Their purpose was to see our De-Worming Haiti Campaign in action.
Last week, I returned from conducting a 6-month post-quake assessment of our clean water program in Haiti. What I saw was truly heart-wrenching. Vast stretches of displaced persons camps and countless makeshift shelters on the street. People collecting filthy grey-water from trash-strewn drainage ditches. Open sewers.
Women and children walk long distances for International Action-supplied clean water
Almost 5 months after the quake, Port-au-Prince's public water infrastructure still lies in disarray. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, while diarrhea cases have remained low in the city, limited water supply for affected communities and displaced persons camps has translated into inadequate quantities of water for even basic hygiene. Many camps have already seen a rise in skin diseases.
I am a lawyer and sociologist. I was born and have lived in Trou-Sable for 28 years. Being responsible for the Health Center of Trou-Sable, I received 500 pills from my president, Tarel Calixte. I have handed out the pills to many of the children for free and have received a lot of positive feedback both from the kids and their mothers. They noticed that the kids do not gain excess weight, that they do not need to drink water constantly through the night, and that this free treatment has worked better than any of the other expensive alternatives available.
I am a sixteen-year-old living in Cité Soleil. I took the treatment, and it helped me a lot. I can now eat well, where before I had difficulty eating healthily; I am also starting to gain weight. Thank you so much International Action, may God bless you.