Samaritan's Purse says volunteers and donations needed in Haiti

Posted Nov 11, 2010 by KJ Mullins
Samaritan's Purse Canada is sending an appeal for help in combating the cholera outbreak in Haiti. Almost 600 people have died and more than 9,000 have been hospitalized.
A coffin constructed for a Haitian teenager in the village of Dauphin  which had been isolated becau...
A coffin constructed for a Haitian teenager in the village of Dauphin, which had been isolated because of very bad road conditions. The teenager had died after contracting cholera.
Operation Blessing International
Experts are now saying that the outbreak is at an epidemic level with hundreds of Haitians at risk.
Haiti has endured a recent hurricane and flooding as the poor nation continues to deal with the devastating earthquake in January that destroyed much of the country.
"We need Canadians' help in fighting a disease that can kill in hours, but that four out of five can survive if they receive treatment quickly," said Fred Weiss, Samaritan's Purse Canada's executive director in a press release. "We welcome any and all financial aid, and also ask for people's prayers."
The first cases of cholera in Haiti were in rural areas but in recent days the disease is showing up in cities including Port-au-Prince and in Cite Soleil. The World Health Organization has labeled the disease an epidemic.
Cholera causes acute diarrhea and can cause severe vomiting and leg cramps. The disease comes from ingesting contaminated food and water.
"This is a question of national security," Gabriel Thimote, Deputy Director for the Haitian Ministry of Health,warned during a news conference Wednesday in Haiti. He noted that the cholera-related death toll has risen to 583 so far, with 9,123 hospitalized. Dr. Jon Andrus, Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization, said: "We have to prepare for a large upsurge in cases. We have to be prepared with all the resources that are needed for a rapid response."
Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and development organization based out of Calgary, has been providing IV fluids to combat dehydration. It has been distributing IV kits, water purification kits, hygiene education kits, and other items. Along with the supplies the organization has been working with Haitian nurses to teach hygiene training and promoting preventative hygiene through public address systems and wide-spread pamphlet distributions.