November 9th marks the fifth year of us fighting the cholera bacteria and treating it’s victims. Cholera is a deadly bacteria that produces severe watery diarrhea and vomiting that causes severe dehydration that can lead to coma and death.
After not seeing many cholera cases these last few months, we were hopeful the dry season (end of Nov-mid April) would be quiet and cholera might leave the area. Sadly, this last week we have had a huge spike in cases. Many people are coming from the Arcahaie area and being referred from other facilities. We are thankful that they are able to put in IVs to start rehydrate on their way here. Even with this, they are close to death on admission. Since Nov 1st, there have been 54 admits. Saturday was our highest patient count with 29 inpatients. After 2-3 days, most patients are recovered and can return home.
There have been 10,098 pts that have sought cared through the RHFH cholera center. Most have been cared for and recovered, but we have lost 34 people (0.3%) through these five years to cholera, stroke, HIV/AIDS, typhoid, and sepsis. The average stay is 2.5 nights.
We are thankful for the 21 staff that we currently have working. Putting in long days (6a-6p) and working hard, they have brought healing, education, and behavior change to many patients and their families. Most of our staff have been with us for over 3 years and there are a handful that have been with us since the beginning. They are thankful for their jobs and the opportunity to help people.
In spring 2013, we moved from a borrowed house into a newly built facility. Donations from many individuals and organizations made this possible. It has helped incredibly in the treatment that we give. There is more room for patients, family and staff to be comfortable and organized. It is much easier to clean and treat contaminated fluids. There is privacy for staff and patients to shower and change. Four rooms hold 75 beds that are ready to receive patients. We are happy for our work space and for those that made this possible.
Six RHFH health care workers throughout out section help fight cholera. They educate thousands, distribute water treatment tablets, treat mild cholera and diarrhea, transport severe cases, and disinfect houses. They are on the front lines in their remote villages.
Other posts on our fight against cholera can be found below:
Thank you for your support through these past five years with prayers, finances, supplies, volunteering, and much more. We couldn’t have done it without you!!! Thank you for bringing hope and healing for cholera patients.