Ahead of a large-scale cholera vaccination campaign to begin in Haiti Tuesday, November 8, some 350 Red Cross volunteers were trained and ready to participate. In teams of two, they’ll visit 16 areas devastated by Hurricane Matthew to spread the word about the campaign, encourage vaccinations and share information about cholera and how to prevent it from spreading.
With cholera on the rise (3,500 cases) since the hurricane hit southwestern Haiti one month ago, the Government of Haiti and partners have organized a cholera vaccination campaign to take place from 8-14 November in storm-affected areas, as part of broader efforts to curb the spread of the disease in country. 820,000 people will receive an oral dose of vaccine during this period, ensuring their protection to +/- 60% for a period of about 6 months.
The 350 Red Cross volunteers supporting the campaign are among 800 who have been actively assisting devastated communities since the hurricane struck. They’ve been distributing hygiene kits that consist of items such as toothbrushes, toilet paper, soap, buckets as well as other relief items, including tarpaulins for makeshift shelter and roofs, food and kitchen supplies.
These volunteers largely come from the villages where they work, they are known and trusted by community members, which will be critical as they share information about the vaccination campaign and mobilize participation.