The news stories are somewhat less frequent, but cholera is still affecting most areas in Haiti. The official numbers of persons infected and number of deaths are thought to be far below the actual numbers.
Please follow @biosurveillance on Twitter, or follow their blog HERE, for very frequent updates on cholera in Haiti.
The recent post-election protests in Haiti (in response to what was likely at least a partially rigged election) add another layer of misery for people who've already been through so much this year. See this post from Tara--it echoes my current thoughts about Haiti. You can follow Dr. John Carroll on his blog for updates from a cholera treatment center in Port au Prince and the challenges he's encountering with the recent protests.
Many on Twitter are posting frequent updates about the current unrest/protests. Here are some people I've been following: @KarlJeanJeune, @emilytroutman (photographer/writer), @jacquiecharles (Miami Herald reporter) @RAMHaiti (very popular Haitian musician), @KatzOnEarth (AP reporter), @DokteCoffee (MD working at General Hospital), and @gaetantguevara.
I will be in Haiti for all of January and most of February. Part of this trip will (hopefully) be a time to relax and reconnect with people, including patients we've taken care of over the past year. I've gotten to know many of our patients well and it will be great to see them again.
A good portion of my time will be spent working with medical organizations in Port au Prince and elsewhere in the country (if the need arises). As the details are sorted out, I will update here. Most are anticipating that the cholera epidemic/outbreak will continue for several months, so I expect to be involved directly with treating cholera patients. At this point, I'm intentionally not committing to a specific organization because I want to be mobile and flexible as needs arise in various places.
Below is a list of supplies and medications that would be very useful in Haiti. I could also use monetary donations to purchase additional medications. I can buy Lactated Ringers IV fluids for a little less than $1 per liter. They're heavy (1 kg, or 2.2 pounds, per liter), but I have been sending them to Real Hope for Haiti with various people who are traveling to Haiti from Minnesota and have room in their luggage, and I'll continue to do this. Azithromycin is more expensive; thirty 500 mg tablets are $82.66 and one 30 mL bottle of Azithromycin suspension (for babies & children) is $10.92. Each bottle of Azithromycin suspension can treat about 4-6 children, depending on their weight. That is about $2 for a dose of antibiotics to treat cholera in one child. Zofran (an amazing anti-nausea/vomiting medication) costs $5.52 for 30 dissolveable tablets (about 18 cents per dose). Please contact me at halv0105 (at) umn (dot) edu if you are able to help out with medications, supplies, or monetary donations. Thanks in advance!
1. Non-sterile gloves, sizes M and L
2. Medical-grade disinfectant wipes
3. Hand sanitizer
4. Diapers (for babies and adults) and baby wipes
5. Chux pads
6. Good quality headlamps
7. Sharpie markers
8. Baby formula (a general need not related to the cholera outbreak)
1. IV catheters: 18, 20, 22, and 24 gauge (preferably IntraCath)
2. IV tubing
3. ORS packets
1. Doxycycline tablets
2. 1 liter bags of IV fluids (Lactated Ringers)
3. Zofran (ondansetron) IV and sublingual tabs
4. Azithromycin (tablets and oral suspension)
5. Ciprofloxacin tablets