CMC – The European Union (EU) says it will be making €1 million available to support the emergency response to the cholera epidemic in the French speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM), member state.
The funds were mobilized by the Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department of the EU to support actions that will be implemented by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).
The emergency response will benefit approximately 48,000 people by facilitating access to timely and adequate life-saving treatment and protecting vulnerable people from cholera infection.
With this emergency funding from the EU, PAHO will purchase essential inputs to improve treatment delivery and cholera detection capabilities, such as rapid tests, reagents, equipment for the collection of samples and laboratory diagnosis, and will fund telecommunications and data processing teams to support field epidemiologists, community health representatives and mobile clinic nurses.
In addition, the funding will help expand and optimize cholera bed capacities while supporting medical centres in implementing cholera-specific protocols.
According to the EU, PAHO will co-ordinate with the Ministry of Public Health and Population to support departmental epidemiological surveillance while working to strengthen the expertise of multipurpose community health workers for them to quickly identify cases of cholera and support containment, prevention and response activities.
Emergency funding will also be used to organise communication and awareness campaigns to raise awareness of how to prevent and control the spread of the disease and protect the most vulnerable people.