Abbott responds to Bolivia's urgent need for antibiotics

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Respiratory infections follow heavy rains and are opportunistic for dengue fever patients

The heavy rain that has exacerbated Bolivia's dengue fever outbreak has also triggered flare-ups in infections requiring antibiotics, such as Coqueluchoide Syndrome, a respiratory illness similar to whooping cough that can be easily treated with antibiotics.

Through the generous support of global health care company Abbott, Rio Beni Health Project, Direct Relief's local partner, has been able to distribute antibiotics valued at more than $56,000 to aid in the emergency response. Abbott's support will help provide treatment for 3,000 cases of Coqueluchoide Syndrome. The incidence of this bacterial infection increases especially when hot, sunny days follow days of heavy rain, which is characteristic of areas along the Beni River in the upper Amazon region. For many Bolivians in the Beni region without access to medicines, donations like Abbott's make the difference of whether they'll get the treatment they need.

Abbott has been a valued partner of Direct Relief since 1996. Together, we have provided ongoing and emergency assistance to important Direct Relief partners around the world. In Bolivia, we support Centro Medico Vivir Con Diabetes, an organization that provides diabetes prevention, screening, and care. In Afghanistan, we have supported the Afghan Institute of Learning that provides health and education services for women and children. In Cambodia, our joint effort has provided critical, comprehensive nutritional support at the Angkor Hospital for Children. In addition to providing product donations that build healthcare providers' capacity to address specific needs, Abbott is also helping Direct Relief and its partners build human capacity through healthcare provider training and public health education.

quick facts

Incident: Dengue fever outbreak beginning in January 2009

Human Cost: 33,735 cases identified; 19 deaths from hemorrhagic fever reported.

Direct Relief Response: Airlift of more than $76,000 (wholesale) worth of specifically requested medicines including analgesics to fight fever and provide pain relief, as well as antibiotics to treat respiratory diseases that increase during flooding.