Heart to Heart Responds to Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

OLATHE, Kan., Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Heart to Heart International Inc., a leading humanitarian organization, today said that it has been asked by the Haitian Ministry of Health to join the fight in containing a cholera outbreak that is quickly spreading toward the capital city of Port-au-Prince, where 1.5 million people living in tent cities are at risk of contracting this deadly infectious disease. Heart to Heart medical staff and volunteers treated their first five cases of cholera yesterday (Nov. 11) at a Heart to Heart primary-care clinic in Port-au-Prince.

"Cholera is one of our biggest fears following a major disaster," said Andre T.

Butler, Heart to Heart's CEO. "A water-borne disease like cholera could spread like wildfire through the makeshift camps in Port-au-Prince, affecting mostly young children and the elderly, and it could complicate an already complex emergency situation." The Haitian Ministry of Health reported yesterday that nearly 750 people have already died from cholera and more than 4,500 cases have been reported. Health officials are calling on groups like Heart to Heart to serve as triage points, because they expect the number of cases to increase exponentially.

Heart to Heart will be treating patients with early-stage cholera at each of its clinical sites and referring more serious cases to a growing network of Cholera Treatment Centers. The organization's response is part of its ongoing efforts to provide primary care to people in underserved communities throughout the quake zone.

Heart to Heart is requesting more medical volunteers, medical aid and financial support to assist in the rapid-response efforts to contain the cholera outbreak.

Volunteer inquiries can be made by calling 913-764-5200. Donations can be made online at www.hearttoheart.org.

So far, Heart to Heart has deployed nearly 300 medical volunteers in Haiti, delivered more than $16 million (U.S. wholesale) worth of life-saving medical aid, and treated more than 100,000 people--including 2,500 weekly--at clinical sites in Port-au-Prince, Leogane and Fondwa.

Heart to Heart International mobilizes and equips volunteers to improve health in underserved communities across America and around the world.. Since Heart to Heart's founding in 1992, volunteers have helped deliver aid worth more than $800 million in U.S. wholesale value to 110 countries, including the United States. The organization was named to Forbes magazine's prestigious list of "America's 200 Largest Charities" in 2009 and was recognized as one of the top nonprofits in the categories of donor efficiency and charitable commitment. For more information on its programs and ways to get involved, visit www.hearttoheart.org.

Contact Information: Pete Brumbaugh, Heart to Heart International Office: 913-764-5200 | Mobile: 913-233-6712 E-Mail: pete.brumbaugh@hearttoheart.org -------------------------------- SOURCE Heart to Heart International Inc.

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