Emergency Medical Teams Expedite Cholera Treatment in the Artibonite Region

Samaritan's Purse Fast-Tracks Oral Rehydration Salts & Immediate Clean Water Relief in Haiti  

As the number of confirmed cholera cases continues to rise, Samaritan's Purse's medical and emergency relief teams are in the rural central valley of Artibonite providing medical care, clean water and hygiene training to help stop the outbreak of cholera. Samaritan's Purse's Haiti-based relief helicopter is transporting IV solutions, oral rehydration salts, cots, doctors and nurses, enabling the team to set up mobile rehydration clinics in Marchand Dessalines and Villard.

"This cholera outbreak is moving quickly and the sick need care immediately," said Dr. Tom Wood, epidemiologist and Samaritan's Purse director of program development. "Right now our focus is to provide oral rehydration salts and IVs to the sick and prevent the disease from spreading with clean water and hygiene education."

The need for clean water is imperative to help stop the cholera bacteria from spreading further into surrounding villages and towns. Samaritan's Purse water and sanitation teams are distributing water purification tablets and sachets that will provide communities with clean drinking, bathing and cooking water. During the weekend, the team successfully installed two community water filters - both with capacity to provide 10,000 gallons of clean drinking water a day—in the hard-hit areas of Villard and Boudette Petit Place. Sanitation teams are also setting up hand-washing stations and conducting desperately needed hygiene trainings to help stop the bacteria from spreading.


  • Ken Isaacs, 20+ year veteran of international aid in 140 countries, Samaritan's Purse vice president of programs & government relations

From Haiti:

  • Dr. Tom Wood, epidemiologist, Samaritan's Purse director of program development

  • Matt Ellingson, Samaritan's Purse Haiti country director - leading relief efforts on site

In an effort to get additional supplies to the cholera victims, Samaritan's Purse loaded and sent two relief flights over the weekend from Ft. Pierce, Florida.

Supplies included:

  • 60 cases of IV solution and IV kits

  • 2 community water filters (each providing 10,000 gallons of clean water per day)

  • 2 community water bladders and jerry cans to haul clean water

  • Some 500 family hygiene kits

  • 144,480 water purification sachets and 1,064 water purification kits

  • Garden sprayers, rubber boots and gloves for decontamination

Additional Samaritan's Purse relief flights are being coordinated for later this week.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Haiti right now," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "We have mobilized our Samaritan's Purse medical and relief experts, and we are committing all necessary resources to stopping this deadly disease."

Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief organization that provides immediate, no-red-tape response to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations. The organization responded to Haiti's devastating earthquake (Jan. 12) by sending an emergency response team and supplies within the first 24 hours. Since the quake, Samaritan's Purse has constructed 10,000 shelters for earthquake survivors, coordinated health and hygiene training for thousands of Haitians living in makeshift camps, mobilized heavy machinery and removed rubble for rebuilding efforts, and provided medical, clean water and food relief. Samaritan's Purse has worked in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution.

TO DONATE:  Visit samaritanspurse.org or call 800.528.1980.