Canadian Red Cross to deploy field hospital to support cholera response in Haiti
(OTTAWA, Dec. 2, 2010) On Dec. 3, 2010, the Canadian Red Cross will deploy its new field hospital to treat people who have contracted cholera in Haiti. The field hospital was created as part of the First Responder Initiative, a partnership with the Government of Canada.
“The Red Cross has been responding to the cholera outbreak in Haiti since its onset,” says Conrad Sauvé, secretary general of the Canadian Red Cross. “Now, for the first time, we are able to deploy our new field hospital and further support the many people who have fallen ill in Haiti.”
"The Government of Canada applauds the Canadian Red Cross on the deployment of this treatment unit to Haiti to assist those who are suffering from the cholera epidemic," said Bev Oda, Minister for International Cooperation. "This will meet the need for more treatment centres, and as I said in the recent announcement of Canada's support to the Red Cross field hospital, demonstrates how a field hospital based in Canada can enhance our response to disasters in the Americas."
The First Responder Initiative includes two health emergency response units: a rapid deployment field hospital and a basic health care unit. Both are modular and can be deployed with specific equipment and personnel to best meet the needs of the health crisis. The basic health care unit will be deployed to Haiti and will be set up as a cholera treatment centre, where patients can be treated day and night. This is the first time a Red Cross field hospital will be deployed from within the Americas.
The Red Cross has been responding to the cholera outbreak since its onset by providing treatment, urgently needed medical equipment and educating communities about the disease in order to prevent its spread. The Red Cross currently has one cholera treatment centre set up north of Port-au-Prince, and an observation post set up in La Piste camp in Port-au-Prince. Life-saving prevention activities have included hundreds of thousands of text messages in Creole, Red Cross radio broadcasts on Haitian Radio and direct community visits conducted by hundreds of Red Cross volunteers who provide information and basic hygiene techniques vital to preventing cholera.
For more information or for interviews please call:
Canadian Red Cross media line: 613-740-1994