Haiti Earthquake Victims and Volunteers Face Clean Water Issues
Water Safety, Access, Still Major Concern
BALTIMORE- 01/19/10—Six days after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti the health and sanitation situation is still less than optimal in the makeshift camps. "Access to shelter, sanitation, water, food and medical care remains extremely limited," announced Riccardo Conti on a bulletin yesterday from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC's). Conti is ICRC’s head of delegation in Haiti.
Medical facilities in Port-au-Prince still lack staff and medicine and access to clean water is an issue for victims as well as Haiti earthquake volunteers. Passport Health, the leading provider of travel medical services and vaccinations, and Hydro-Photon, maker of SteriPEN portable water purifiers, are joining together to support Operation USA in its efforts to assist victims of the Haitian earthquake. OP USA is an international relief agency that helps communities at home and abroad overcome the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid. Since 1979, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit has worked in 99 countries, delivering over $350 million for relief and development projects.
“Hydro-Photon will provide quantities of its SteriPEN water purifiers to help protect the health of relief workers and earthquake victims on the ground in Haiti,” announced Miles Maiden, CEO of Hydro-Photon. SteriPEN utilizes ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria, viruses and protozoa in seconds, helping to prevent water-borne illness. Operation USA supports several field organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, Partners in Health and World Vision, all of which are presently working to improve conditions in Haiti. Please support its efforts through donations at www.opusa.org.
“The task facing humanitarian organizations is overwhelming," said Fran Lessans, CEO of Passport Health. Passport Health keeps up-to date health alerts for all international volunteers. “Water is essential, but clean water is scarce and volunteers have to take precautions with water purification devices so that they do not become ill while helping others,” she added. “We stand behind our partners Hydro-Photon and Doctors Without borders and encourage you to donate to Operation USA.
Passport Health will make recommendations for vaccines, portable water purifiers, and food, water and mosquito-borne illnesses for each volunteer. Clean water is an issue right now,” she concluded.
Passport Health is reaching out to all volunteer and relief organizations and is offering extended hours throughout their national network of clinics. Passport Health will also come on-site for departing volunteer groups.