Direct Relief International is responding
to what authorities in Venezuela fear may be a major health crisis in the
aftermath of the deadly floods that killed as many as 30,000 people there.
Venezuelan Health Ministry officials say that, among other health problems,
contaminated water supplies in the region have created the risk of a cholera
On Tuesday, December 28, Direct Relief sent its second and third shipments of medical aid to Venezuela. They include more than 100,000 tablets of doxycycline, an antibiotic that is the treatment of choice for cholera and other infectious diseases. One of the shipments will go to the Venezuelan Red Cross (Cruz Roja Venezolana), and the other is being sent directly to the Central Caracas Clinic, where many of the flood victims are being treated. The shipments, with a wholesale value of approximately $700,000, will also include large quantities of other antibiotics, anti-parasitics, disinfectants, first aid supplies, IV sets, needles and syringes.
Direct Relief's first shipment of aid to the flooded region of northern Venezuela was sent on December 23. The emergency medical goods included antibiotics, cardio-vascular and respiratory agents, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic drugs, and trauma care supplies such as bandages, gauze, needles and syringes and IV sets. The shipment went by air to Miami and then on to Caracas, where it was received by the Venezuelan Red Cross.
Direct Relief's representatives in Venezuela have reported that the most immediate health problems among the survivors are gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory infections, skin infections and trauma injuries. Direct Relief=D5s initial shipment was designed for the prevention and treatment of those conditions, and future shipments will be tailored to address changing circumstances and problems in the region.