Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cholera outbreak in Haiti (Three news articles)

This cholera thing has everyone's attention.  I know you are bathing this county in prayer for many different reasons and just add this to the list.

Announcements are being made on the radio for people to boil their water or use cleansing tablets, wash hands and avoid non cooked foods.  No more fresh fruits or uncooked vegetables for us for a while.  And we are washing hands ALL the time.  I already use Clorox in our wash and rinse water for dishes and we are putting Clorox into the campus cistern.

They are trying to keep this outbreak to the Artibonite Valley in the center of the country but cases are being diagnosed closer to Port-au-Prince because of the movement of vegetables, fruit and people around the country.

Once again we know GOD is in control and HE makes no mistakes.  Thanks for praying

Cholera outbreak behind Haiti deaths: health official(AFP) – October 21, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE < An outbreak of cholera was to blame for dozens of deaths in Haiti in recent days, a health official said Thursday.  "The first results from the lab tests show that there is cholera, but we don't know which type," an official from the public health ministry told AFP, asking to remain anonymous.  "The government and the health authorities are meeting at the moment and an announcement will be made," he added.

Health officials said earlier that at least 50 people had died from acute diarrhea and hundreds were being treated in local hospitals as laboratory tests were carried out to determine the cause of the illness.  The outbreak of illness was outside the capital, which was ravaged by a devastating 7.0 earthquake in January, leaving more than 250,000 people dead and another 1.2 million homeless.

Cholera is transmitted by water but also by food that has been in contact with unclean water contaminated with by cholera bacteria.  It causes serious diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration. With a short incubation period, it can be fatal if not treated in time.

The World Health Organization says on its website that "cholera is an extremely virulent disease. It affects both children and adults and can kill within hours."  Aid agencies have voiced fears for months that any outbreak of disease could spread rapidly in Haiti due to the unsanitary conditions in the makeshift  amps housing the homeless, with little access to clean water.

The impoverished Caribbean nation has also been hit in recent days by severe flooding, adding to the misery of those struggling to survive in the scores of tent cities now dotting the country.

[YWAM-Haiti] URGENT! "Many Many Many people are dead or sick!"
We’d like to call people to prayer for our city and the countryside surrounding it. There seems to be an outbreak of some kind of a water borne disease where people who contract it come down with severe diarrhea resulting in death within 24-48 hours. We do not have concrete numbers of how many have actually died to date, only scattered reports from Haitian Messagers seek aid and purified water saying; “Many Many Many people are dead or sick!”. The hospital in St Marc is filling up with cases and our clinic down the road has been made ready for overflow. hospital ward.

Symptoms point to Cholera but that has not been confirmed, test result due in today. [See article above.]  If it is Cholera the problem isn’t medicine, they claim they have the cure, but getting it to the people in time. We are focused on three things, distribution of purified water, transportation of the sick and education on sanitation. The disease seems to have originate in the countryside (known as the 5th section) where the river has flooded several times over the last few weeks. The minister of health for our area is hot on the case and we are in good partnership and communication with him.  We have made our Clinic in Balague (5th Section in the heart of the problem) available as needed, Nouveau Depart Health Center in St. marc City available as needed and our Mercy Truck Ambulance has already been mobilized transport the most serious cases.

We are taking precautions at our campuses and outreach post, be prayerful for Lubin 4 where we have the Bosseutte family who have been leading a new church and school.

Prayer points at a glance:
  • Pray for protection to all health workers and volunteers in the area.
  • Pray for a quick diagnosis so that correct treatment can be administered immediately.
  • Pray for those who have already lost loved ones.
  • Pray for peace in the countryside and for protection for those who live in the high risk areas that may not have access to clean water.

Rains cause floods in Haiti; officials say 12 deadOctober 21, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) < Steady rains flooded portions of the Haitian capital over the weekend, turning streets into rivers and leaving at least 12 people dead, civil protection officials said this week.  Storms falling on the mountains that ring the capital sent cascades into the pitch-black downtown, where trucks left boat-like wakes as they forded boulevards.

At least 10 people were killed in Port-au-Prince on Saturday and Sunday, most when surging rivers burst through houses built in ravines, civil protection chief Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste told The Associated Press.  One victim fell into an open sewer. Others were killed trying to cross rivers.

Two children were killed when mud slid into earthquake-refugee camp in Carrefour, west of the capital. An AP Television journalist who reached the camp Monday said dozens of families were repairing their tarps. The rocky dirt under other post-quake settlements, home to an estimated 1.3 million people, turned into spongy mud and then lakes.

Aid groups and officials overseeing Haiti's post-earthquake reconstruction have been on guard for heavy rains since the Jan. 12 disaster. Canals were cleared and drainage ditches dug around some of the better-managed camps.  But even without a direct hit from a hurricane this year, 23 rain-related deaths have been confirmed over the last month in southern Haiti, including the quake zone.  The national meteorology center issued flash-flood warnings across Haiti's southern peninsula through Tuesday, which extends west from Port-au-Prince.

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