Cholera Update for “Our Village”

Our contacts in Haiti report that cholera is more widespread than initially reported.  It has reached the rural villages near our sister parish, St. Therese, but our clinic in Boileau has not yet diagnosed a case of cholera. As you have heard on the news, cholera can spread rapidly, and, once contracted, cholera can cause death in a few days…sometimes in hours.; But the other concern is that it can remain dormant in an infected person for several days, then erupt.  This increases the threat of spreading to several parts of Haiti. As people flee from the epidemic locations, they can be carriers even though they do not have symptoms.  Since Boileau has been so welcoming of refugees, there is a high risk of having the bacteria in the community.

The greatest threat for transmission is contaminated water supply, so your help is having a life-or-death impact once again.  The 17 wells and hand pumps for clean water that your gifts have provided in and around the village of Boileau are a source of clean water for several thousand families. The villages estimate that each well provides water for at least a thousand people, with a rough estimate of some 25,000 people depending on all the wells. Even before the cholera threat, the doctor at the clinic reported that the wells had transformed the villages.  The clean water dramatically reduced the wide-spread problems from ingesting the parasites and bacteria in the surface water.  The ripple effect of this reaches into all parts of the village life – even to allowing kids to stay in school for higher grades.  (See the update on the school in this website for more details.)

Please continue praying that the efforts to stop the epidemic are effective. The tent-cities of earthquake refugees are the most vulnerable. We are communicating with some medical teams to see how we can help with treatment and containing/controlling the transmission.

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