On Thursday we started to get news about a possible cholera outbreak to the north of Port-au-Prince. Yesterday's articles were quoting the numbers of 135 dead and 1500 ill, and lab reports confirmed that this was indeed cholera. This morning we heard that the Dessalines Hospital, run by the Free Methodist Mission in the Artibonite Valley, is filled with cholera cases. So far there is a report of one death near to Port-au-Prince. Of course the great fear is that this will spread to the tent cities, where the results would be devastating.
Please pray with us that this epidemic will be contained. Cholera is easily preventable and treatable. We are not worried for ourselves, not because we are brave but because we are really not at risk. We have clean water, we can easily cook our food, and we have access to soap. If we do get sick we also have access to good medical care. The same is not true for most of the people in this country.
http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/10/23/cholera-outbreaks-hits-haiti/ This is a short article about the situation, and you can also view a photo essay about the conditions in the tent cities. This will help you understand how fast an epidemic can spread. These photos were taken months ago but sadly very little has changed.
Ruth, for Steve, Suzanna, and Sebastian Hersey