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‘This is what we feared’ – cholera in Haiti

By October 26, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — 250 people have died in just over a week in Haiti as an outbreak of cholera has hit this beleaguered nation. According to reports, 3,000 people have been infected with the disease which is spread through contaminated water.

Spokesperson for Compassion International Kathy Redmond says some of their kids have been affected. "We have three of our children who have been hospitalized. One of the children has lost their mother and the uncle to it."

The area affected by the outbreak appears to be in area surrounding the Artibonite River, says Redmond. She says they've been proactive. "We have Compassion staff that are going to each house to assess the health of each child and their families. They're being given serum if they need it. We're also educating them on waterborne diseases and how to prevent them."

A multinational medical relief effort appears to have slowed the death rate, but Redmond says, "I personally do not see this going away any time soon. Even as we've seen aid groups rushing in medicine and supplies, these are people who are very malnourished. Their health is already poor. And so, once this disease gets in, even with medical teams, even with all of that, their survival is very difficult."

Since Compassion was expecting this problem, they were able to treat the water. "We use water tablets for filtration process. This is actually going in and actually killing whatever is in that water. So I think because of that, that's why our numbers are pretty low."

Redmond added, "We saw this coming with Haiti. Compassion–being there on the ground, working through the local church–we've been able to respond quickly to it, to get to our children, to get to their families and ensure minimal damage."

Compassion has been working in Haiti for over 40 years. Child sponsors are needed, to help with physical and spiritual needs. "For $38 a month, you get interventions like this. The child is able to go to a church project, learn the Gospel, be educated about hygiene, about health issues — just everything you would ever want."

To sponsor a child, click here.

People can also donate to their emergency response fund through their complementary intervention program. Click here to get connected to that program.

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