Humanitarian actor Sean Penn has called on the world's doctors to head to Haiti to help put a stop to a deadly outbreak of cholera sweeping across the country. The Oscar-winning actor has been working closely with his JP Haitian Relief Organization, striving to help the devastated region in the wake of the January earthquake, which left thousands of citizens homeless.
A cholera epidemic has hit the country's homeless camps in recent weeks, and Penn is urging medics to fly to Haiti's capital Port-Au-Prince to offer their services in the health crisis. In a post on the charity's website, he writes, "The current cholera epidemic in Haiti has affected over 7,000 Haitians and killed nearly 500 over the past few weeks. Dire sanitation conditions in camps throughout Port-Au-Prince make the dense population more vulnerable to this disease than ever before."
"J/P HRO NEEDS MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS TO JOIN THE FIGHT: We need at least 14 medics per week to support and continue our cholera-targeted medical operations. Licensed medical personnel who are flexible, resilient, resourceful, and comfortable working in an austere environment are encouraged to join our team."
"This work is first and foremost about saving lives... so we are looking for people who can manage these roles well in a high stress emergency environment. If you are a medical volunteer who can make this commitment, you WILL make a difference."
Penn reveals Hurricane Tomas, which hit the country last week, has hampered aid efforts and he's also calling for more donations from overseas to help the people of Haiti. He adds, "Hurricane Tomas further exacerbated the challenges of accessing and accounting for cholera's reach in rural areas, and the outlook is grim. Reports from volunteers and staff working around the clock to save lives in abysmal conditions suggest this epidemic is still far from stabilizing."
"Clean water is essential. Immediate relief and emergency resources will be in demand until this disease is contained. However, we can't effectively treat and eradicate this cholera epidemic if we don't simultaneously improve the conditions that cause it. This deadly epidemic highlights the serious need to invest in long-term improvements for Haiti."
"Not able to volunteer? Make a contribution to J/P HRO... every dollar of your contribution goes directly to helping the people of Haiti. Start fundraising for J/P HRO (or) donate Supplies."