Cholera Status1 Nov 2010
I met with Living Hope Haiti President Dr Gueillant Dorcinvil today, and
received an update on the situation in St Michele. There have
been roughly 17 deaths in St Michele from cholera. Most of the victims
were not full time residents of St Michele, but rather people that
traveled there to get medical attention for their illness.
We have had one death from cholera at our main clinic in St Michele,
which is discouraging. It is discouraging because an IV and simple
antibiotics, administered in a timely manner, will keep cholera from
being fatal. Unfortunately, the patient's family did not bring him
into the clinic soon enough, and we could not save his life.
I have tremendous concerns about the future of cholera in Haiti.
Cholera is a bacteria that is only transmitted through infected water
(or fruit washed in infected water, etc). Unfortunately, there are
millions of people in Haiti who do not have access to clean water.
Therein lies the problem. Up until recently, there had never been a
case of cholera in Haiti. However, someone brought the bacteria with
them (most folks believe it was the UN troops from Nepal, where cholera
is common) and now it is going to give Haiti a tough time. For a very
Living Hope will increase our efforts to educate the community about
general hygiene- especially hand washing. However, there are many
rumors in Haiti about cholera being an airborne illness, killing victims
in two hours, etc. It is true that without medical attention, cholera
can be deadly within 12 hours. It kills people by dehydration, and the
average Haitian is not well hydrated to start with.
Haiti can use all of the prayers that we can muster. Hurricane Tomas
did not have a big impact on the nation, which was a blessing. However,
cholera will likely be with the Haitian people for the duration of time.
All of our ministries at Living Hope are doing well- all five schools
are open, and well attended. We recently took a team from Miami's
University Baptist Church down to assemble a steel Church building for
the congregation that is meeting in one of our Elementary Schools. Our
orphanage is scheduled to open later this month, and we are making good
progress with our Habitat for Humanity home project. There is a lot
As always, thank you for your prayers and support. Blessings