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On January 5, Dr. Joia Mukherjee, PIH's Chief Medical Officer, spoke at a press conference to discuss the cholera situation in Haiti as well as the aftermath of the earthquake in 2010.
"Probably 1.5 million Haitians get their healthcare from facilities supported by PIH and the Ministry of Health. We have also engaged thousands of new Community Health Workers. Prior to the earthquake we had a staff of about 4,000; now that number is around 5,500. We've made significant progress in building the teaching hospital in Mirebalais and are on track to open that sometime in 2012. We have also focused our work around the needs of people wounded and affected by the earthquake, including augmenting and improving on mental health services," said Mukherjee. "We're very very proud of the work we've done, and yet we're humbled by the need that remains."
Since the earthquake struck on January 12, 2010, PIH has been one of the leaders in providing care and treatment for the people of Haiti. They were among the first responders in Port-au-Prince on the day of the earthquake and, in the ensuing cholera crisis later in 2010, one of the strongest advocates for aggressive and immediate treatment of the disease by any and all means possible.
Today "part of what we're doing in our advocacy is to find companies able to make the [cholera] vaccine at large scale," said Mukherjee. PIH will focus the distribution of this vaccine on "the most vulnerable" in Haiti: the people living in slums; in camps; and children. "The shortage of the vaccine is the usual economic milieu, which is: the majority of people who would use such a vaccine are not from countries which could easily pay for the vaccine," he added.
GreaterGood.org continues to support PIH and its ongoing efforts to help the people of Haiti, including the treatment of cholera victims, through The Child Health Site "Click Here—It’s Free" blue button and the Gifts That Give More [tm] program, among others. To learn more, please click here.