As an integral part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people, both at home and abroad by providing credible information to enhance public health decision making and improving health through strong partnerships.
Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, CDC pledged to help rebuild and strengthen Haiti’s public health infrastructure and established the CDC Health Systems Reconstruction Office (HSRO), which is working closely with the Haiti Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and other federal and international agencies to assess and respond to the immediate public health needs in Haiti.
To maintain its commitment to MSPP, CDC is collaborating with other U.S. government agencies and international partners to support the Haitian government’s response to the cholera outbreak that began in October 2010. CDC is working closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Pan American Health Organization, and other organizations to assist the MSPP in a concerted effort to control the outbreak.
When the Haiti earthquake struck, CDC was able to respond immediately through the preexisting infrastructure of the CDC’s Global HIV/AIDS office in Haiti, which is part of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR has more than 100 care and treatment sites in Haiti, all with strong program support for health management information systems, which have been essential to ongoing earthquake and cholera response efforts.
CDC used the existing PEPFAR sites across Haiti to establish cholera treatment centers, one of the most pressing needs of the response. These centers typically require the construction of tents, specially designed “cholera cots,” access to ample clean water, and numerous other needs that can be met quickly thanks to CDC’s network of PEPFAR partner sites.
As the cholera outbreak continues throughout Haiti, CDC’s top response priority is to save lives and control the spread of disease. In collaboration with MSPP and other partners, CDC Response Teams are working to help ensure that proper sanitation practices, appropriate clinical treatment, and adequate supplies are in place. They also are conducting fact-finding and intervention site visits to assess and improve conditions at hospitals and other community locations.
For more information about CDC’s role during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and cholera outbreak, and about other programs that support public health activities in Haiti, please visit: