UNITED NATIONS, New York—As part of its efforts to improve hygiene conditions and prevent the recent spread of the cholera epidemic in Haiti, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has distributed nearly 7,000 hygiene-cholera kits since 1 November, targeting pregnant women and people living with HIV.
More than 3,500 pregnant women and 720 people living with HIV based in Miragoâne, Les Cayes, St. Marc and Gonaïves have received the kits, which contain basic personal hygiene items and chlorine to prevent cholera, in addition to flashlights and blankets.
“We are currently focusing on the Department of Artibonite in central Haiti, particularly the city of Gonaïves, where flooding caused by Hurricane Tomas is feeding fears that the cholera epidemic may spread,” said Igor Bosc, UNFPA Representative in Haiti. “We have strengthened our presence in Haiti’s fourth largest city, alongside the Directorate for Civilian Protection, in order to better coordinate the humanitarian response.”
Mr. Bosc added that UNFPA will also strengthen the Jérémie maternity facility in Grand’Anse in southwestern Haiti in order to protect pregnant women from cholera. UNFPA has already been delivering hygiene materials and reproductive health kits to the clinic. The kits include a wide range of items, such as supplies for home and institution childbirth, oral and injectable contraceptives, male condoms, emergency contraception, supplies for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, supplies needed in case of miscarriage and other complications, as well as supplies for vaginal examinations, Caesarean sections and blood transfusions.
According to a report released by the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population on 8 November, the cholera epidemic has so far resulted in the death of 643 people and the hospitalization of 9,971 others.
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