The Comité d'Aide Médicale arrived in Haiti at the end of 2010 and is starting its activities to support 5 health centers around the village of Ennery (Nord-East of the Artibonite district). As a reminder, the initial program CAM aimed at reducing both the morbidity and the mortality of the population living in and around Ennery:
Regarding primary healthcare, the material and human resources support CAM is bringing to the five health centers of the commune of Ennery will provide improved health care for mothers and children, with the aim of reducing maternal mortality which remains one of the highest in Haiti.
Regarding the community, the aim is to strengthen or revive community networks, identify traditional midwives so as to enable them to perform deliveries without risks, identify community health workers posted within each dispensary to spread messages about access to healthcare and as a result, reduce both the mortality and the morbidity of the population.
However, in an attempt to respond the needs dictated by the reality on the ground and the very first concerns of the population, the Comité d'Aide Médicale will set up a program to prevent and fight cholera in the first place, since the Artibonite was the starting point of the epidemic a couple month ago. Mortality has decreased since October 2010 but still now, cases are brewing to the health centers or Ennery's hospital. There is therefore a need to act and enable this population to access the information they need, through awareness campaigns explaining how to avoid contaminations, and organize a reference system that would fit to the reality of the field.
The epidemic is still widespread in Haiti. Usually, it takes three months to reach a peak. How about Haiti?
Awareness regarding collective hygiene must be reinforced, messages must be told over and over again, as very often, if cases decrease in a place, the population has a tendency to decrease its attention and precautions are soon forgotten; It is therefore up to CAM to reinforce these messages and to make sure they are diffused regularly.
Thus, the CAM proposes to enhance the « community » dimension of the cholera response in Ennery by:
training the staff of health institutions and the community networks on prevention, identification and management of cases of cholera so as to stabilize them, and plan their referrals to appropriate cholera treatment centers.
creating places for oral rehydratation, distribution of soap, and deliveries of water purifying tablets to the population.
Thanks to the support of the European Union and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Comité d'Aide Médicale intends to participate in the reduction of both morbidity and mortality of Ennery's population.
Boosted by the privileged partnerships established with the « Haitian Ministry of Public Health and population», the Health Direction of the Artibonite, the health communal office of Ennery, the CAM will, in parallel, be able to focus on the initial activities aimed at supporting the delivery of primary healthcare, which should also allow better living conditions for the population. These activities are intertwined, the same actors intervening in the two sectors.