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Cholera Update

Since November 2010, we have been caring for cholera and those with severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.  With your help, there have been 8084 cholera patients treated and only 22 of those have died.

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This has been a slow year so far with only 81 cholera cases and about 175 others with diarrhea that was not cholera.  The rainy season is just starting, so everyone is anticipating a sharp spike soon.  The Red Cross (Haitian, German, and French), National Lab, UNICEF, MSPP/DSO, Americares, and Christian Aid Ministries are always ready to help us with supplies.  Many of us are combining resources and collaborating on strategies.  This unified effort is sure to bring better care, prevention strategies, and more education.  There have been two small spikes in two villages and the Red Cross was able to respond with soap, Aquatabs to disinfect drinking water, hygiene kits, oral rehydration drink, and spray houses of those infected.  Those that were severely dehydrated and needed IV fluids came to the CTC (cholera treatment center).

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We are prepared to treat 50 inpatients at any time.  The new facility has been perfect for meeting the needs of the patients and staff.

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We thank everyone for donations of funds and supplies to keep the CTC up and running.  We are open 24/7 to meet the needs of the surrounding communities.

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There is a staff of 23 that are trained, organized, and available when any spike in patients occurs.  We communicate all cholera cases to other organizations to merge our data to get an accurate picture on the current situation.

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UNICEF and the French Red Cross have donated IV fluids, gloves, and cholera quick tests this year.

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Americares has given us lots of buckets for hand washing stations.  We have a local welder make the table and paint it for about $25.  There are many churches and school that have asked for these hand washing stations and might do a project to promote good hygiene and cholera prevention later in the year.

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We still use our rechargeable lights and kerosene lamps.  The battery packs last about 12-16 months and some are getting old and hold a weak charge.  If any one would like to help with lighting to care for pts and start IVs in the night, please consider purchasing a battery or two:  Coleman 6V rechargeable battery pack.  Comment here under this post or email us and I’ll get you an address of someone coming in soon who can carry it in.

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Speaking of lighting….Haiti Serve made it possible for us to purchase two solar lights for the CTC.  They have been great!  They work every night after being charged by the sun.  They light up the yard and the staff and patients feel secure.  They have provided light to start IVs when the other lights are too weak.  They were made in Haiti and delivered in pieces.  The business (ENERSA) sent an installation team and did a superb job. 

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They got it all together just fine….and then was the part that I couldn’t watch….

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Though some of us were nervous about them going up, we didn’t need to be.  They were installed well and have been a great help to the CTC.

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Our other new addition to cholera care this year is our motorcycle ambulance with a grant from Americares.

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We carry water, supplies, staff, and patients over the bumpy Cazale road.  There is a good distance between the clinic and the CTC – about 1 mile on a hiking trail or 1.5 miles on the road.  The “moto” has been a big help and save time and energy for many.

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This little girl was with her parents at a night wake for a friend that had died and became ill.  Charly was there and saw how sick she was.  By the time they got to the clinic with her, she was cold and unconscious.  She was going downhill fast and we raced to get an IV started.  After a bolus, she started moving a little, but was still in bad shape.  It was about 1:30AM at that point and it was too late to hike the mountain trail.  The moto came quickly and transported the family to the CTC.

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After 4 days in the CTC, she was much better and was discharged home.

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Many other patients and their families have benefited from this basic form of transportation.

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We thank all of you and all of the organizations that have helped us continue to treat those with cholera and other diarrhea.  We are committed to keep the doors open to treat the ill and work with others to promote prevention and education.

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