Food For The Poor Responds to Haiti Virus Threat

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Almost 8,000 boxes and bottles of medicines make up the seven pallets of medicine for children and adults. But that wont last long, based on government forecasts and personal experiences of those in Haiti.
The Food For The Poor/Haiti office in Port-au-Prince sent an urgent request to the U.S. office for Paracetamol and acetaminophen.

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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 23, 2014) – Food For The Poor has secured seven pallets of much-needed medicines that will be air-freighted to Haiti to help fight the spreading Chikungunya virus that has sickened more than 3,600 people in that country.

The Food For The Poor/Haiti office in Port-au-Prince sent an urgent request to the U.S. office for Paracetamol and acetaminophen. There is a shortage of these medicines in the country and they are unaffordable when they can be found. Prices have risen 200 percent since the virus was first confirmed two weeks ago, according to one of the charity’s in-country partners.

Almost 8,000 boxes and bottles of medicines make up the seven pallets of medicine for children and adults. But that won’t last long, based on government forecasts and personal experiences of those in Haiti.

“It is spreading here in what threatens to be an epidemic,” said Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma, as he traveled by bus from Port-au-Prince to Grand Boulage on Thursday. “There is an urgent need for medicines and for mosquito repellent. Food For The Poor will continue to try to get more of these supplies and get them distributed in Haiti as fast as we can.”

Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. The virus is new to the Americas, but is spreading across parts of the Caribbean. The mosquitoes that spread the illness are widespread in both the tropics and in sub-tropical regions, including Florida.

Aloma reported that even the Food For The Poor operation in Port-au-Prince has been affected with several staff members out sick with the fever. Aloma, in Haiti leading a mission trip to dedicate water wells, said the group is taking every precaution.

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Kathy Skipper

Food For The Poor
Director of Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6614
kathys@foodforthepoor.com