247476 A community-based cholera surveillance and education program in eastern Haiti

Monday, October 31, 2011

Corey Bills, MPH , Prtizker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Luke Davies, BA , Global Health Initiative, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Christine Babcock, MD, MSc , Section of Emergency Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Christian Theodosis, MD, MPH , Section of Emergency Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Introduction: On October 21, 2010 a cholera outbreak was confirmed by the Haitian National Public Health Laboratory. Within one month cholera had spread to each of ten departments of Haiti. The aim of this study is to analyze whether a Haitian national health agent-led cholera surveillance program combined with basic public health messaging can provide insight into cholera outcomes.

Methods: A health agent-led team assessed villages in the primary municipality of Fond Parisien in Ouest Department from November 2010 to January 2011. Data was gathered via in-depth and key informant interviews. A purposive sampling of presumed high-risk villages throughout the region with a cross-sectional sample of households within selected villages was completed. Individual households were questioned regarding cholera symptoms and provided with simple public health education. This data was compared to clinical and demographic data at the region's primary cholera treatment center (CTC) for analysis.

Results: Continuous data collection in the form of household surveys and rapid assessment procedures monitored high-risk populations in several hard to reach villages in the region. Health agents noted multiple deaths secondary to cholera-like symptoms in communities not reported to clinical or public health authorities. A total of 2416 clinical cases of cholera presented to the CTC over the study period. The clinical fatality rate was 0.745%.

Conclusions: The use of health agents trained in disaster management and mitigation was successful and contributed to public acceptance of the primary CTC and control of cholera deaths within the region.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
to discuss the role of cholera surveillance in eastern Haiti

Keywords: Communicable Disease, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I analyze and oversee programs in post conflict and disaster health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.