Uptake of household disinfection kits as an additional measure in response to a cholera outbreak in urban areas of Haiti

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Médecins Sans Frontières-Operational Centre Amsterdam piloted the distribution of household disinfection kits (HDKs) and health promotion sessions for cholera prevention in households of patients admitted to their cholera treatment centres in Carrefour, Port au Prince, Haiti, between December 2010 and February 2011. We conducted a follow-up survey with 208 recipient households to determine the uptake and use of the kits and understanding of the health promotion messages. In 61% of surveyed households, a caregiver had been the recipient of the HDK and 57.7% of households had received the HDKs after the discharge of the patient. Among surveyed households, 97.6% stated they had used the contents of the HDK after receiving it, with 75% of these reporting using five or more items, with the two most popular items being chlorine and soap. A significant (p < 0.05) increase in self-reported use items in the HDK was observed in households that received kits after 24 January 2011 when the education messages were strengthened. To our knowledge, this is the first time it has been demonstrated that during a large-scale cholera outbreak, the distribution of simple kits, with readily available cleaning products and materials, combined with health promotion is easy, feasible, and valued by the target population.

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