Friday, December 03, 2010

Haiti cholera assessment day #5

The questions asked were interesting: if cholera is in the water and in fish, should we not swim in the ocean; why are the dead burned and not buried; where did cholera start; can you get cholera more than once; and what does cholera look like? These were just a few of the many questions asked by the 65 participants at today's training. Pastors, teachers and volunteers from all 15 projects attended. I spoke on the cause of cholera, prevention, treatment, and assessing the sick patient. We had a "show and tell" on how to make chlorinated water, ORS and how to wash our hands. We ended the week of assessment with a powerful take home message: no one should die of cholera and no one should get cholera. Hygiene and sanitation is the key to prevention, and fluid, fluid, fluid are the mainstay of therapy: stay hydrated.

We will be back here in less than a month. I'm bringing a Medical Mercy team of 15, 8 medical and 7 lay. We will be working at a cholera treatment center taking care of the sickest of the sick and doing a comprehensive nutritional assessment of all the children in the projects to identify those who are moderately or severely malnourished. There will be a lot to do, but if it hadn't been for Edrice (our Haiti country facilitator) who put in place the protocols we sent for chlorinated water, the use of ORS and hygiene, we'd be way behind this cholera epidemic. Edrice did an incredible amount of work without complaint or question. He is a true servant. And thanks to Jack for his preliminary assessment of the children and identifying those that I needed to see and for his logistical support and for everything else that he does that goes under the radar but is so important.

The intervention and implementation of our cholera prevention and treatment program served the children of MoM well. I leave tomorrow morning, tired but comforted that what we did worked. And for that I say,

In all things give thanks,