Jan 12, 2011
Exactly one year after the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, WSPA reflects on the importance of disaster management by looking back at the tremendous amount achieved to date, with aid delivered to more than 50,000 animals.
Since last year’s quake, WSPA has remained on the ground in Haiti, addressing the needs of its surviving animal population and broken veterinary infrastructure. Thanks to the amazing support and ongoing contributions from our supporters, WSPA – as part of the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) – has been able to accomplish the following in Haiti during the past year:
Treated more than 50,000 animals in need
Last January, ARCH set up a mobile veterinary clinic, which allowed trained veterinarians to travel into earthquake-stricken neighborhoods and provide medical aid to tens of thousands of dogs, cats, goats, cattle, horses and other animals.
To date, the team has directly treated and vaccinated more than 50,000 animals, therefore aiding in the economic recovery of the communities that depend on those animals.
Protected the health of humans
By vaccinating animals against diseases such as rabies and Newcastle’s disease, ARCH also protected humans in the Haitian community.
By treating animals for parasites, the team prevented an outbreak of diarrhea, which would have exacerbated the Cholera problem.
Repaired veterinary infrastructure & supplies
Helped repair and re-stock the National Veterinary Laboratory.
Installed 12 solar powered refrigeration units, which are critical to storing animal vaccinations.
Started the training of veterinarians toward building a community-based risk reduction effort to help prepare for disaster situations in the future.
Promoted pet care & animal welfare education
Launched a public awareness campaign to educate Haitians about disaster preparedness and health issues related to their livestock and pets.
Worked closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) to develop capacity to monitor and support animal health. The new veterinary team now works with the MARNDR on epidemiological surveillance when suspected rabies cases appear and will be capable of rapid deployment in the event of another emergency.
“Although we have already delivered over 75% of the aid, our work in Haiti is far from complete,” explains Gerardo Huertas, Disaster Operations Director for the Americas, WSPA, “But by focussing on the long term as well as the immediate needs of the Haitian community, we have ensured that our supporters’ generosity is used both effectively and efficiently: not just to treat the animals we could spot on our first visit to Port-au-Prince, but also to help the Haitians on their long and arduous road to recovery.”