Brazil donates to stop Haitian cholera

The health ministry of Brazil recently announced that it has donated $7 million to buy vaccines and other relief supplies for Haiti.

The funding is part of the contribution Brazil pledged to Haiti as part of a bilateral agreement of understanding between the two nations, according to Xinhua.

The Brazilian ministry said that it believes the amount of vaccine that will be supplied should be enough to last the country for an entire two year period.

Haiti suffered from a major earthquake in January 2010. At least 100,000 people are thought to have died as a direct result of the quake and many more thousands have been left homeless.

The situation deteriorated in October 2010 with the arrival of a cholera epidemic. Cholera is suspected to have killed another 4,000 people and infected over 150,000. The large number of refugees from the earthquake living in tent cities appears to have exacerbated the disease’s impact, Xinhua reports.

The ministry announced that approximately $2.5 million would be transferred immediately to the Pan American Health Organization, which will use the money to acquire vaccines to protect against human rabies, canine rabies and other diseases.

The United Nations Development Program will be in charge of the remaining $4.5 million, Xinhua reports. This money will be used in part to buy refrigerators and other equipment that is capable of storing perishable vaccines and other needed supplies.

So far, Brazil says it has also sent 405 tons of medicine and surgical supplies to Haiti, and at least 100,000 doses of the hepatitis B vaccine.