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News Around the World
Published on 12 November, 2010

Cholera’s impact to be felt for years in Haiti

Haiti (HCJB/MNN) — Aid groups are facing the inevitable advance of cholera and setting up treatment
centers across Haiti's capital city. 

Officials warn that the disease's arrival is likely to bring a surge of new cases from the overcrowded tent
cities. The waterborne disease could spread
easily in the unsanitary conditions where supplies are shared for cooking and
washing.

The government says more than
1,000 newly-infected swelled the ranks of the 11,000 needing treatment.   

HCJB Global Hands sent a medical team to help treat hundreds
of patients in the weeks leading up to Tropical Storm Tomas. The team, made up of Hermann Schirmacher, Ian
McFarland, Dr. Francisco Nina and Dr. Mark Nelson, was hosted by Samaritan's
Purse.

For those who were homeless in the wake
of the January quake, many are without shelter yet again. McFarland says, "Actually, many of the tents
are now just bits of canvas wrapped around four posts stuck in the ground."

Even as McFarland's team left, they
prepped a new tent with 24 beds to treat cholera patients at the gate of the
Global Outreach base at Titanyen. That
same night, the first four patients arrived, three of them being from the same
family.  

Meanwhile, Samaritan's Purse opened a new rehydration center in Cite
Soleil and has begun constructing another clinic in the area. The ministry is scouting
additional locations to set up temporary clinics if needed. They are also deploying staff and supplies to
the clinic, and training Haitian doctors and nurses in the region to
prevent and treat cholera.

In order to speed the prevention efforts, their team is also printing
and distributing thousands of health and hygiene pamphlets, as well as using vans
equipped with loudspeakers to broadcast prevention education messages.

The aftermath of the outbreak will need
all hands on deck. HCJB is sending another medical team from Ecuador next month.

Every moment is a touch point for the Gospel. Even as
Haitians wait for clean water at hydration stations, a pastor preaches the good
news of salvation concerning the living water that satisfies eternal thirst,
according to Schirmacher.

"Pray
for the spiritual impact," McFarland added. "Samaritan's Purse has worked hard
to have people go out with their teams to give spiritual advice and counsel.
Pray that these men might grow in their own Christian lives, and that there
might be some organized discipleship for those who have made professions of
faith."

 

 

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