Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cholera update

Things have tapered off. But don’t let that fool you. People are still getting sick, people are still dying, but not to the extreme that it was before. There are stories of survival out there, but no one talks of those. For instance, one of our employee’s family was stricken with cholera, his brother, sister and mother. He had to go out to the country to get them. He returned to the hospital getting all three there. His mother and brother were okay, they gave them some rehydration drinks and sent the two home. His sister on the other hand was admitted. They put her on an IV doing everything they could for her. We prayed all we could pray. The next day, she was well enough to go home again. They sent her with a couple IV packs, and now she is well and back out in the country with her family. Thursday on our way to school was eerie, it was as if everyone was too afraid to go any where. Though we did see trucks with bottled water. That day we taught our students about how to keep clean, how to drink only clean water and how not to spread germs. We spent the morning praying, and praising, not entirely sure what to do, as we were missing a bunch of students. I was up to my elbows in bleach water, scrubbing and sanitizing toys, shelves, desks, chairs, and sleeping mats, all while the little kids watched movies. We spent a few days waiting to hear helicopters coming over with supplies. I have never been so happy to hear a helicopter in the middle of the night. We spent many days refreshing our news browser finding out the newest news, death toll, and how far it spread. Even though I live here, you still can’t get reliable news from the Haitians. Finally the President made a statement, purified water was distributed, radio and cars with speakers were going around telling people how to stay safe. Saturday Red cross trucks lined the road on the way out of town, heading towards St. Marc, it is encouraging to see. Sunday we went out to the fifth section, which is the Artibonite where the cholera outbreak started. I wasn’t sure what I was going to see after hearing that people are lining the roads sick, wanting water. Honestly I was slightly afraid going out there. I was presently surprised. The people were healthy taking precautions. Drinking only filtered water, boiling all cooking water, and not eating raw vegetables. But all in all everyone out there was healthy, very healthy, and in general some of the healthiest kids I have seen in Haiti. Things are looking up here, today we saw the field hospital for cholera patients that red cross has started to put up, followed by UN soldiers with riot shields telling us to go another way. Which we were once again re-routed due to the reason the UN was telling us to go another way for, a demonstration. It was a very large group of students protesting that the field hospital was being put up in their back yard. So in other words things are looking up health wise, as it has yet to reach Port-au-Prince, and there are not near as many deaths and cases of cholera coming into the hospitals, but it takes years for it do be completely out of a country, and another severe out brake could happen again, in a few days, months or years. Though the people have learned proper sanitation and hygiene which will help them in the long run.

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