SOURCE: Save the Children

Save the Children

January 16, 2010 14:52 ET

Save the Children Says Health Risks on the Rise for Haiti's Youngest and Most Vulnerable Children

WESTPORT, CT--(Marketwire - January 16, 2010) - Save the Children's emergency health and nutrition director, Kathryn Bolles, says she is concerned about the increased health risks for children in Haiti, as clean water supplies become scarce and sanitation conditions deteriorate.

"Because clean water is very scarce, families in makeshift camps may be forced to use contaminated water to mix baby formula, which puts infants at risk of life-threatening diarrhea," says Bolles, who has been traveling from camp to camp to provide health care and assessment. "People are crowded together with very little shelter and no sanitation systems. Under these conditions, everyone is at risk of communicable diseases, but we know that children under age 5 are the most vulnerable."

Bolles is encouraging breastfeeding among mothers of infants, particularly those she has met who have just given birth in the camps. Save the Children is also delivering essential medical supplies and IV solutions to 14 hospitals and medical clinics in the impacted area.

"Patients are overflowing from the hospital buildings," reports Bolles, "and some are lying in the compound waiting for medical attention."

Save the Children is bringing five Haitian American physicians from the United States to help provide medical care to the families in the camps and set up mobile health clinics.

Since the earthquake on January 12, Save the Children's staff members in Haiti have been responding to the immediate needs of children and families. The aid agency has worked in Haiti since 1978 and has more than 100 staff members in the country.

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Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Save the Children USA is a member of the International Save the Children Alliance, a global network of 29 independent Save the Children organizations working to ensure the well-being and protection of children in more than 120 countries. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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