© Sally McMillan/MSF
Anyone who enters the CTC walks through a basin of chlorinated water to disinfect the feet. Hands must also be washed. Patients are then assessed and taken for treatment. Their clothes are laundered in a chlorine solution, and if a shower is available they may wash their body after receiving treatment.
© Robin Meldrum/MSF
Contaminated waste is incinerated and/or buried in a pit to control the spread of cholera. This includes soft waste (e.g. cloth and plastics), sharps (e.g. needles and glass), and organic waste.
© Erico Hille
Latrines are provided to ensure that any human waste is contained, helping to prevent the spread of cholera.
© Cecile Dehopre/MSF
A clean water supply is essential as treatment involves rehydrating patients for the fluids they have lost through diarrhoea and/or vomiting. The water supply is chlorinated to ensure that bacteria levels are safe for human consumption.
© Susan Sandars/MSF
Acute patients are treated on specialised beds that allow for efficient excreta disposal via a hole for the passage of excreta into a bucket below. Buckets are also provided beside the bed for patients who are vomiting. Buckets are changed regularly, the waste disposed of hygienically and the buckets disinfected with chlorine. A dedicated hygiene team ensures that any spills are cleaned promptly and disinfected with chlorine.
Patients displaying severe symptoms are hospitalised in the acute area of the CTC, where they will receive treatment involving use of an IV to administer a saline solution for rehydration. As they recover they progress to the use of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) that are mixed with water. Patients in high-risk categories, such as children, the elderly and pregnant women are given antibiotics and supplements such as Zinc.
© Sven Torfinn
As patients recover, they are moved to a recovery area where they are treated with Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and monitored to ensure their full recovery.
Supplies & Administration
Logistics personnel ensure that medical supplies are always kept in stock. Especially important is the supply of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), chlorine, water, IV equipment and saline solutions. Medical personnel at Médecins Sans Frontières CTCs follow the Cholera Guidelines provided to them to ensure the centre is run as efficiently as possible and patients receive the best treatment.
What is a Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC)?
A Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC) is vital in managing and treating severely sick cholera patients. It is a specialised isolation ward for patients, designed to prevent the spread of the disease. It also provides efficient treatment and stabilisation of patients.
The onset of cholera is abrupt and cases must be detected and treated as early as possible. Dehydration occurs very rapidly and can kill if it is not treated quickly and correctly with immediate replacement of fluid and salts. Most patients can be treated using oral rehydration solutions alone. Only severely dehydrated patients need the administration of intravenous (IV) fluid.
Anyone showing symptoms of cholera, which include acute diarrhoea and vomiting, should seek treatment at a Cholera Treatment Centre as soon as possible.