Cholera prevention underway in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew
BMS World Mission has helped more than 23,000 people in Haiti following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew last October
Haiti was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew on 4 October 2016. The storm caused more than 400 deaths and left a wave of destruction in one of the most fragile countries in the world. There were fears that widespread flooding and poor sanitation following the disaster would spark an epidemic of cholera. In response, BMS and the Baptist Relief and Development Network (BReaD), which BMS helps to co-ordinate, approved grants adding up to £46,696 to help provide cholera treatment. Just four months later, the impact of relief efforts is encouraging.
The potential cholera epidemic was averted, with fewer reports cases than feared, thanks to a focus on prevention rather than just treatment.
“There was a real fear that, following Hurricane Matthew, cholera rates would rise drastically and cause even more devastation,” says Rachel Conway, BReaD Network Facilitator at BMS. “But thanks to our donors and collaboration with partners on the ground, we have been able to stand with the people of Haiti and be a part of a really successful response."
Over 23,000 people have been given the cholera vaccine in the south-western tip of Haiti, where people were hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew. That number is especially promising because it means prevention efforts have reached over double the number of people initially predicted and over 90 per cent of the population in this southern region are now protected from this devastating disease.
1,777 people have benefited from the cholera supplies that have been delivered to mobile health clinics in the area. Nearly 1,000 hygiene kits and mass quantities of water purification tablets have also been distributed to those in need.
"Because of these efforts we’ve been able to reach a huge number of people and there’s been a much lower number of people than expected being admitted to the hospital for cholera treatment," says Rachel. "It's a huge blessing.”
Thank you for your prayers for Haiti and support of BMS relief efforts – because of your giving we were able to respond quickly and effectively to this disaster. Please continue to hold the people of Haiti in your prayers as they have suffered a great deal and continue to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
Do you want to help support people in times of disaster? You can help before it happens by giving directly to BMS disaster recovery today.
Photos courtesy of Hope Health Action.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission.