Konbit Sante Continues Cholera Prevention Efforts Despite Unrest in Cap Haitien, Haiti- Interviews Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 9, 2010 Contact: Danny Muller/ info@konbitsante.org/ Direct line: (001)207 931- 8460 (Cap Haitien) “Konbit Sante is taking the lead in coordinating a community-wide campaign for cholera prevention in Cap Haitien, mobilizing many people and using all available media to help get the word out. Working with Oxfam GB, Haiti Hospital Appeal, UNICEF, and others, we are setting up community early rehydration and cholera prevention stations. The depth of the tragedy is amplified by the fact that this is both an easily treatable and easily preventable disease. Simply put, it doesn’t happen in places where people have ready access to clean water, and access to clean water has to be viewed as the most basic of human rights.” Nathan Nickerson RN, DrPH, Executive Director “Prevention efforts by Konbit Sante and our partners are key to controlling the cholera epidemic in Cap Haitien. I am coordinating outreach to a population of 123,000 people with grass roots education efforts to protect the population and provide educational materials. For people infected with cholera, we are providing a quick response at health rally posts to patients with oral rehydration salts and rehydrating them in the field to secure their well being. We are working to replicate this model throughout the Cap Haitien area because of the proven success of this model.”-Youseline Telemaque, MD “Konbit Sante has been going out into communities and conducting training sessions for people at risk. Many of the drinking water sources are contaminated with fecal material, which puts populations at risk of contracting cholera, as well as other water borne disease. As little as a few drops of chlorine can make water safe. The challenge now is to get the message out to people about safe disinfection methods, which is where we are concentrating our focus.”-Hugh Tozer Nathan Nickerson is the Executive Director of Konbit Sante. He has worked in Haiti over the past nine years and focused on infectious diseases, public health, and community outreach. He holds a doctorate in international public health. Dr. Telemaque graduated medical school at Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince, and completed her residency in Obstretrician/Gynecology at the Justinien University Hospital in Cap Haitien. Over the past five years, she has focused on women’s health and more recently on community health for women. Interviews Available in French. Hugh Tozer is president of the board of Konbit Sante and a water and wastewater engineer with Woodard & Curran in Portland, Maine. His work with Konbit Sante focuses on infrastructure projects, particularly a

project to improve the quantity, quality, and distribution of water. He is currently conducting water testing in Cap Haitien.

About Konbit Sante
Since 2001, Konbit Sante staff and volunteers have worked in collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Health and other partners to build local capacity in all aspects of the health system - from door-to-door community outreach programs, to strengthening community health centers, to improving care at the regional referral hospital. In Haitian Creole, a konbit is a traditional Haitian method of working together to till your friends' fields as well as your own - working together toward a common goal. The word sante means health. For more information about Konbit Sante-supported programs in community outreach and disease prevention, pediatrics, women's health, procurement and management of medical equipment and supplies, improvement of water quality at the regional referral hospital and more, please visit www.healthyhaiti.org. Konbit Sante is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation organized in the State of Maine.

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