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Iraq

Fighting the Cholera Outbreak in Iraq

  • October 01, 2008
  • Americares India, Emergency Medical Response, Epidemic, Iraq

AmeriCares is sending medicines and supplies to stem a deadly cholera outbreak in Iraq. With lives in jeopardy, AmeriCares is sending 3,200 bottles of IV solutions and nearly $600,000 worth of medicines and medical supplies to help control the outbreak and address other health concerns.

More than 300 people have recently been diagnosed with cholera, and the World Health Organization estimates the actual number of cases could be much higher.

Cholera facts:

  • Left untreated, cholera can kill in hours or leave people debilitated for weeks
  • 30,000 Iraqis were affected by cholera and related diseases in 2007
  • 4,700 diagnosed cases of cholera in Iraq last fall
  • Cholera is spread though polluted drinking water
  • Cholera is most deadly for vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly and the infirm
  • In 2007, AmeriCares shipped enough medicines to treat up to 6,000 patients

“Iraq has a skilled and dedicated medical community, but they often lack resources to treat patients,” said Randy Weiss, an AmeriCares Corporate Relations Manager who accompanied a previous airlift to Iraq. “Hospital shelves are still in short supply of many needed medicines and medical supplies.”

Included in the latest humanitarian medical aid shipment are life-saving antibiotics, rehydration solutions and other items that help relieve suffering and speed recovery time.

AmeriCares is delivering the critical medicines from its warehouse in India in order to coordinate faster delivery to the region.

AmeriCares has been sending aid to Iraq since 2003 in response to urgent medical and other humanitarian needs brought about by war. AmeriCares sent the first emergency airlifts orchestrated by a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization. Other air and sea shipments followed, and to date AmeriCares has delivered more than $25 million of medicines and medical supplies to Iraq.