Our staff in Haiti has received some encouragement today. While touring a cholera treatment center (CTC) set up in Cap Haitien by Doctors Without Borders, they were told that “a simple bucket full of chlorinated water and a packet of rehydration solution will do more to save a life than a treatment center.”
We are staying ahead of cholera in our projects so far by acting fast to provide the bleach and training to each family. If you’d like to help us continue to provide these materials and offset the cost of treatment and prevention, please consider making a donation to the Children’s Crisis Fund.
Dr. Beyda, our Medical Mercy director, arrived yesterday and quickly got to work meeting with staff at the Justinian Hospital. We also have a partnership with Konbit Sante, a public health partnership in Cap Haitien. Within 2 hours he established a new referral pattern for our sickest children and collaborated with the Baptist Hospital in Carrefour La Mort run by the Haitian Hospital Appeal, where a CTC has been established. Dr. Beyda writes:
I wanted to have the referral process in place before I went out so I could be able to send children somewhere if I needed to. Here is what we are doing for the projects:
- Each project has 2 people identified as "prevention specialists" who are trained to teach hand washing, hygiene, waste disposal, and assessment of signs of dehydration.
- Each family (1600 of them) has received a gallon of chlorine for their water, enough to last one month with more to come.
- Each family (1600) has received 5 one pound blocks of soap.
- Each project has a water filter.
- Each project has enough oral rehydration salt (ORS) packets to treat at last 50 children until they can be sent elsewhere.
- We will be assessing latrines, sewage, and waste disposal next.
It's been a long day. We have so much more to do. I feel like time is slipping away, and I wonder if it will ever slow down. I will rest little tonight, knowing that there are many who will slip away. The humiliation of laying in your own diarrhea, dehydrated, and passing away is what I see even with my eyes closed. I wonder what they see.
The next few weeks will be critical in determining our real effectiveness as project volunteers visit homes to reinforce training. Yet now we know if our children and families are in crisis they can go to the cholera treatment center. One of our projects is only about a mile away. We pray they never have to go.
Thank you for your prayers and continued support. As Dr. Beyda would say, "In all things give thanks." We are thanking God that we can be of help.