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Thousands of children were at risk as an outbreak of cholera spread throughout the Dominican Republic. Dozens of lives had been lost and thousands of people had been sickened. Reported cholera cases were also up in neighboring Haiti, following the 2010 outbreak which killed thousands of people. The return of the rainy season sparked the resurgence of the deadly waterborne disease.
The cholera outbreak underscored the dire living conditions facing children and families across Haiti and Dominican Republic. Dirty drinking water and poor sanitation spread the disease. Crowded housing – many families live in tents or make-shift shanties – made matters even worse.
Left unchecked, children - especially babies and toddlers - stricken with cholera and watery diarrhea could die within hours due to organ failure caused by dehydration. Many children in impoverished nations, such as the Dominican Republic and Haiti, were already weakened by malnutrition and were at even higher risk.
We saw promising results from our cholera response in Haiti - saving lives and relieving the suffering of children and families. Over 740 severely ill children and adults were given emergency care at our cholera treatment centers in Haiti. Thousands more benefitted from our health education, hygiene, clean water and sanitation projects.
So much more needs to be done. The good news is, we know simple solutions work.
Save the Children worked nonstop to help prevent the outbreak from spreading. Thank you for donating in support of cholera prevention and education that reached children and families in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic. Help us continue our work to provide cholera treatment to these communities. The most basic cholera treatment costs a mere 20 cents – that means your gift of $100 could help save up to 500 lives!