Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Since our last update, plans for the Mission's medical response have solidified. Thanks to the generosity of several donors and a large loan, we are now moving forward and, God willing, we will have a treatment center operating in Haiti by December 9.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. It has a short incubation period and can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death. In most cases, treatment of cholera is a relatively simple process of replacing lost fluids with clean water and rehydration salts. If not treated, 60-70% of cases will be fatal. With proper treatment, that drops to less than 1%. During this epidemic in Haiti, the fatality rate has been between 3 and 7%. This is a direct result of inadequate treatment facilities and human resources.
Our plan is to arrive in Port-au-Prince with supplies and equipment (including IV solution, IV sets, oral rehydration salts, etc) to operate a small cholera treatment center for three days. We have confirmed that further supplies may be procured from the World Health Organization warehouse in Port-au-Prince, as we did in January. We will be co-ordinating the UN Health Cluster to position the treatment center at the site of one of our schools or churches, wherever it will be most effective.
In the Gospels, Christ consistently reminds us of the necessity of caring for those in desperate circumstances: the parable of the rich man and Lazarus; the parable of the Good Samaritan; and the Last Judgement. Please, for the sake of those dying in Haiti, heed Christ's call. Freely ye have received, freely give!
May God bless you for your generosity!
Priest Matthew Williams