Red Cross uses SMS for Haiti health campaign

Tags: people, cholera, messages, charity, disease, information, treatment, centres, country, please

Charity Insight Contributor Published 13 June 2011

The Red Cross is using SMS messages to inform people about cholera, following a significant rise in cases of the disease in Haiti.

The messages, which include information on cholera prevention, symptoms and treatment centres, target people in particularly high risk area of Haiti. At the peak of the outbreak last year, the Red Cross sent out 10.5m SMSs to people across the country.

Red Cross

Source: Amanda George/British Red Cross

"Making sure people know of the increased risk, and the simple steps to take to avoid the spread of the disease is vital. We have massively scaled up our communications in the country and are sending SMS messages to people in affected areas with basic, but life-saving information," said Gerhard Tauscher, cholera operation coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The charity is also providing clean drinking water, hygiene kits and soap, and has set up a series of oral rehydration posts and cholera treatment centres.

Becky Nayler

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So is the city health dpnmrtaeet concerned that cholera could be released into the community during sewer overflow events? Can we expect to see cholera showing up in water samples taken from the Gowanus? And is there greater risk to those who boat in places like the Gowanus Canal following sewer overflow events?

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