Monday, 29 November 2010

More on Cholera.....

Cholera is the thing everyone is talking about right now. It is now present in all 10 departments of Haiti with the North department (where we are) being the worst affected. People are so scared of getting cholera because of what they have heard and seen of people dying quickly. As I have said before educating people is going to be the most important thing. People are believing all kinds of things they hear on the street and they are willing to believe them because they are so scared of getting cholera. Here are some of the things I have heard.....

If you drink lots of alcohol you will be protected against cholera.
You can buy a medicine in the street which will protect you against cholera.
You can get cholera from the dust in the street

Where we put our first patients

Which all of course are not true. This week Bethesda began to treat cholera patients. At first we had put them in a tent outside which was fine for one day but not good enough. One of our other missionaries Jane had the idea of using one of the old houses which is just beside the clinic. When we went to look at it, it was perfect for exactly what we needed. On Wednesday we arranged the house and brought over all the supplies we need. Thankfully we were able to get more IV fluid in town, this is the main treatment for cholera and last week we we unable to buy any in Cap Haitian.

our new 'hospital' for paients


Since Wednesday we have had a steady flow of patients, mostly children from a number of different areas, and mostly brothers and sisters. We have had a few difficult cases where they have been so dehydrated it has been really difficult to find a vein to put the IV fluids in. One little boy I would like you to pray for especially, he came on thursday morning severely dehydrated and it took our nurses over an hour to find a vein to place an IV. He was given fluids all day and all night and seemed much better on Friday afternoon he was also drinking alot. However he continued to have diarrhoea through the night on Friday and by saturday morning he was severely dehydrated again, as our staff worked on him they couldn't find a vein as he was so dehydrated. We continued to give him fluids by mouth as we were able. Dr Rodney then had an idea of IV into the bone which I have never heard of before but he did it (it was his first time ever...he had just read about it!!). Thankfully we had the equipment and with alot of praying going on at the same time Dr Rodney got it in and the IV started. Since then it has been running, we have been giving him oral fluids aswell all through the night however he is still having continuous diarrhoea and is losing alot of fluid. Please pray today we will be able to find a vein, give me another IV which is so desperately needs so we give him more fluids than he is losing.


Its scary how quickly cholera can dehydrate someone, especially kids. The continuous vomitting and diarrhoea removes all their fluid very quickly. If someone gets cholera time is really the important thing. Friday we had a young girl come in who just started getting sick that night around midnight and by 8 am the next day she was very very unwell. Dr Rodney started two IVs and within 20 mins she was awake and talking. Her mum was crying as her big brother was in the clinic aswell, as soon as she woke up she said 'mummy don't cry for me just pray to God for me,' It was very cute and today she is a million times better eating and drinking.

Thankfully all our other patients are responding well to treatment. My role in the clinic had definitely changed from just a physiotherapist!!Please pray for us as we treat patients, for continuous supplies, for strength for our staff especially Hannah, Dr Rodney and I (please!!) who have been in the clinic long hours and though the night.


This week Bethesda is starting two special weeks of 'Combat Cholera'. Each day the patients will be educated on how they can protect themselves against cholera. Each patient will be given soap, A bottle of chlorox (bleach) and oral rehydration powder. We also have a fixed price of 250 goudes (about $5 US) for each consultation and any medicine which patients need. We expect to have alot of patients and on top of treating cholera patients its going to be hard work!!However we will be able to educate alot of people and give them materials on how they can protect themselves and their families agaisnt cholera. Plus we have a medical team arriving next Saturday from the states which will be great.

**I wrote this yesterday and didn't have chance o post it. Today we have even more patients and our 'hospital' is nearly full. Please continue to lift us up in prayer , also among the business we will have time to share the gospel with our patients.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Noise!!

I never thought I would be happy to hear the sound of a horn on a huge truck in Haiti. Just to explain a wee bit.......driving in Haiti is a bit crazy and the rules are, if you want to be seen beep your horn, if you want to overtake beep your horn, if you want someone to move beep your horn......if you just feel like it beep your horn and for as long as you want!!!. The other rule is if you are bigger you have right of way!And what generally happens is these huge trucks come along with their hand on their horn for a good 15 seconds to get everyone else in their way to move. Everytime I drive past one or hear the horn from my house (which is often) it does my head in, there is no need for it to be that loud and that long....its not like we don't see the HUGE trucks coming!!!


When one of these drive towards me with their hand on the horn I very quickly move out of the way!!


Anyway today we have heard lots of loud horns and cars and people and Haiti is back to being noisy!Which is great, all that means,  things have settled down after 4 days of rioting in and around town and after people being confined to their homes it nice to hear some noise outside. We have heard the rioting is mainly due to the cholera outbreak and people want something done about it and also there are rumours that the UN are responsible for bringing cholera to Haiti and most of the rioting was against the UN.


We thank God for the peace today, please pray it will continue. Pray for elections which will take place next Sunday (28th), pray that the right people will be chosen for the positions here in Haiti.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Cholera

Just as I think life in Haiti cannot get any worse, it does. When I think the people cannot cope with anything else they find the strength to. 12th January brought the earthquake in Port au Prince, November brought Hurricane Tomas which caused mass flooding and now cholera.....on top of life as it was in Haiti and all in the same year.



 As you have probably heard on the news Cholera is spreading fast in Haiti. After beginning in the central plateau in Haiti, cholera has now spread to all 10 regions in Haiti. Everyday we are hearing of more people dying from Cholera here in Cap Haitian. They have opened the local gymnasium in the centre of town to recieve patients and Milot  hospital has received over 50 patients just over the weekend.

Bethesda and OMS as a mission is trying to provide as much education as possible to the community. It is very easy to protect yourself against cholera and education will be the thing that will stop it from spreading further. So far we have had education sessions with over 1500 kids, our seminary students, the local church in Sakenvil and with our pastors. We are encouraging everyone who hears the information to pass it onto people in their own local community. The pastors and studnets have taken the information back to their churches. Dr Rodney has also made an announcement for Radio 4VEH which has up to 1 million listeners each day.



One area which has been badly affected in an area called Souffriere. Souffriere is where we have a done a few mobile clinics before. Souffriere is a very poor area, the only water they have is from the local river and there is no place to use the bathroom. Now the river is infected with cholera yet the people have no where else to find water. Its easy to give advice but if people have no means to follow the advice they don't have any other chocie, they have over 30 people who have died in that area.

Yesterday Dr Rodney talked in the clinic about the numbers or people who are sick, the numbers of people who have died, to be honest it is probably alot higher than what has been reported. He explained how the situation in Haiti makes it easy for cholera to spread. The piles of rubbish by the side of the road breeding bateria, no clean water, people having no toilets to use, people not washing their hands....all these things contribute to cholera spreading here. His conclusion was the ONLY thing which can stop this is the prayers of God's people. Humanly speaking its going to be impossible, however we serve a God who can do the impossible and we trust in him to change Haiti.



I will be honest sometimes it is so hard to see how this country will ever change. We hear news about the extent of cholera in Haiti, also yesterday and today there are demonstrations and violence against the UN in Cap Haitian because of Cholera,  people are scared, people are tired of suffering and they want something done about it. On top of that the election for a new president will take place in two weeks time (28th November). So far no-one I have spoken to is going to vote...not one single person because 'there is no one worth voting for.' Things are always a bit unstable around election periods with some people rioting, saying that we will not be going anywhere near town over the next few days!!




I am sorry to sound so dismal but this is life in Haiti right now. God is the only person who can ever change this country.


Please keep praying for this nation.....its needs miracle upon miracle to change it.




Luke ch 1 v 37
'For nothing is impossible with God.'

Monday, 8 November 2010

Babies......

Just before I went home Vedane and  Rodney has adopted Alisha and I had asked my dad if anyone had any old baby clothes that I could bring back for her and some other babies that would be great. I was amazed at how generous people where and I actually had to say no to some of the clothes because I wouldn't have enough space to bring them back. Hannah had also been home and came back with loads of baby stuff and we had a team here from Indiana who also left us lots of baby clothes. Here are just a few of the many babies we were able to help.


My bed full of baby clothes....and this is only about half of them.

First Alisha.... two months ago Alisha was living with her dad, her mum had died when she was just 3 months old and she had nothing. Now she has a family who love her and she is getting spoilt rotten!!When Vedane took her she had no baby girl clothes at all and now I think she has more than she can even use. Its amazing how God can change a wee life of even someone so young. Who knows where Alisha would be right now if she hadn't have been brought to the clinic and she is really is such a blessing for Vedane and Rodney and anyone that meets her. She is a really happy content wee baby.


Her brother Ollie with his new shorts.



This is Daniella with her baby Florcy. Daniella is just 18 and came to our clinic in early September looking for baby formula as she was unable to feed her baby due to an infection. At the time we didn't have any and I knew Hannah's mum was sending some down so I told her to come back in October. She came back and we were able to give her a big box of formula, I got talking to her and she told me she doesn't have any family just a sister, the baby's dad is gone, she and the baby sleep on a cement floor of someone's house who they don't really know but she has no where else to live. Daniella also told me Florcy wasn't very well so I told her to bring the baby the next day. Thankfully just that morning Jane (one of our missionaries) had brought down a big box of baby blankets to the clinic so we were able to give her some blankets for the baby to sleep on and a box of baby formula with a couple of bottles. The next day she came back with Florcy who was 6 months old at the time. I got her chart and noticed she has been here 3 months before where she weighed just 4.69kg, I took her to weigh her and was shocked to see three months later her weight had dropped to 4.29kg. She was consulted and put on the feeding programme, we were able to give Florcy and her mum some clothes and a wee bit of money to buy some food. They came back just 4 days later and the difference in Florcy was amazing, before she was very lethargic and unhappy, however now it was looking at a different baby, she had much more energy and was laughing and smiling. We have a fund in our clinic which is kept for people who really cannot pay to come to the doctor and this is how we were able to treat Flory.


Her first visit


Just 4 days later, like a different child.
This is Roseleud with her baby Miklen. Miklen is 18 months old, her dad died in the earthquake in Port and since then things have been a real struggle. Again the clinic was able to pay for her treatment, we gave Miklen some cartons of milk and some clothes. Right at the end of her consultation Roseleud asked if she coule become a christian and we had the priviledge of praying with her and giving her some guidance about finding a church close to where she lives. They came back around 5 days later and again Miklen looked like a different child, smiling and laughing it was great.


This is Jeffery and his mum. His mum was in Port during the earthquake and had to have her lower left arm amputated. Since January she has been in Milot hospital and wee Jeffery was born at the end of July. He is really lovely.



This baby is very special because she is named after Hannah and I (well her middle name) is Julianna. She was born at the beginning of Septmeber. Her mum is called Rose Marie and she lost her right leg in the earthquake.




This is young girl is just 16 and has just had her little baby. To be honest Farah is a typical teenager, she think she knows best about everything. We have been able to help her alot with her baby with clothes, nappies and Farah is on our feeding programme in the clinic.




This is my friends wee neice, Sandra happy with her new wee shorts.


We would appreciate your prayers for all these babies and thier mums, most of them are single mums and life is really difficult.

So thank you very much to people in Bangor, Northern Ireland, Bend, Oregon and Colombus Indiana. There are many many more babies we will be able to help.