Haiti grappling with cholera — at the worst time

By October 27, 2022

Haiti (MNN) — Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse in Haiti right now, cholera is back.

Three years had passed since Haiti’s last cholera case. The previous outbreak killed nearly 10,000 people from 2010 to 2019. Now, the waterborne disease has returned with at least 1,700 cholera cases confirmed — half of them children. Forty people have died so far.

Haiti was already struggling under hostile gang takeovers in major cities. A few somewhat-functioning medical centers are trying to treat cholera cases, but they lack something significant: fuel.

haiti

Port-au-Prince neighborhood. (Photo courtesy of Heather Suggitt via Unsplash)

David Carwell with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Haiti says, “At the seaport, there’s a gang that’s blocking that fuel, so no diesel or gasoline is being released, and that’s just bringing many businesses and health care facilities to a halt.

“The roadblocks continue almost on a daily basis with demonstrations. However, the police right now are able to clear those more effectively. But there have been major roadblocks, not just burning tires, but vehicles across the road, cement blocks, electric poles, or trees. So those roadblocks really hamper transportation. Sometimes the blocks are accompanied by gangs that have rocks in their hands or guns or want a toll to pass.

“Another issue is looting. There’s been water, fuel, and food warehouses that have been looted in some of the major cities.”

Gang kidnappings for ransom continue, and schools have been shut down. It’s too dangerous for students and staff to meet. Travel across the island is increasingly precarious. Ministry staffers have to exercise caution.

“We’re being very careful locating real close right here to the airport,” says Carwell. “Our families have been flown out of the country, so we just have a technical crew here right now that’s maintaining minimum services.”

mission aviation fellowship, haiti

(Photo courtesy of MAF)

However, this is not stopping MAF from being Christ in the crisis.

Carwell says, “The demand for our services is greater than ever. There are more people that are asking for help because there’s no other way for them to get to certain parts of the country.

“We’re here trying to do our best in the name of the Lord and pray that He would protect our team and those that we are able to serve.”

Local churches in Haiti are also stepping up to serve one another, whether or not they can gather together.

“Those congregations where people are able to walk to church, they’re still meeting. Churches that are more dependent on public transportation are not able to meet because those services aren’t functioning. But many of the churches are able to meet, and we just ask that they would be strong salt and light in their communities. We see that happening. We see people genuinely caring about their neighbors and trying to help one another through this crisis.”

Please consider supporting MAF in Haiti by donating to the ministry here!

But above all, Carwell says, “Prayer is key to this. We invite all of our brothers and sisters in Christ to be praying for the leaders of the country. We don’t pray for the downfall of the gangs. We pray for their salvation as well. But we do pray that there would be law and order in place and that ministries would be protected.”

Pray also for Haitians to get the resources they need to combat cholera, for medical centers to be effective in treating the sick, and for the Holy Spirit to open many doors for the Gospel in Haiti.

 

 

 

 

 

Header photo courtesy of Jouni Rajala via Unsplash.