This letter comes from Janelle, a girl from our church who is currently serving in Haiti. The clinic she’s talking about is the one that James and I went down to visit and help out with back in March. After having seen some of the conditions Haitians live in it’s not hard to imagine how fast something like cholera could spread through communities. The problem is that so many people use the rivers as their source of water even if it is infected. There is no other option. They can’t just walk down to the store and buy a bottle of clean water to drink. I can’t imagine.
As I’m sure you all have heard, there is a cholera outbreak in Haiti. It originated in the Artobonite Valley, about 100 kms from here, about two weeks ago. They have reported over 400 deaths and several thousand infections. A week ago, we started hearing about cases in the north (where I am) and on Monday we had our first cholera patient being treated at the almost finished hospital at Ebenezer Clinic, and last night we had 5 patients staying to be treated. These patients are coming from Limbe, about 5 kms away where we believe cholera has infected the river where many people wash clothes, bathe and gather water.
Cholera is a waterborne disease that causes dehydration by vomiting and severe diarrhoea. If untreated, it can be fatal within hours. However, the treatment is very simple – rehydration through IV fluids and antibiotics
.The two hospitals in Limbe are full of cholera patients and so people are coming here once they’ve been turned away, or if they do not have the money to pay for treatment. We anticipate that the number of patients will only increase in the coming days.
How can you help? Please pray for the staff at Ebenezer Clinic who are serving above and beyond. Also, using the almost finished hospital as a treatment centre also means that the clinic will have extra expenses (running the generator almost 24 hours a day, buying extra medication, paying extra staff time). Most patients we are seeing will not be able to pay for their treatment. You can help offset these expenses by making a donation through the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada. All donations are tax deductible and can be made online at www.CanadaHelps.org (please designate your gift to Haiti Clinic and write “Cholera” in the comment box) or by mailing a cheque with a note that your donation is for Cholera in Haiti to:
Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada PO Box 34025, RPO Fort Richmond Winnipeg, MB R3T 5T5
Thanks for your support!