- Posted May 31, 2011 by
Port au Prince, Haiti
Hundreds sick overnight: Cholera spikes in full force
The "rainy season" is what we've been bracing ourselves for here in Haiti, because of the correlation between increased rainfall and the spread of cholera. We had hoped for the best, but this week, we have received a glimpse of a threatening trend.
This week, the rain has been bearing down hard over this small island. And in its wake, a fresh fear has been birthed: many hundreds of new people are falling ill with cholera.
At our Samaritan's Purse clinics, we've watched our numbers climb over the last weeks until today, we received a call from a clinic whose numbers had skyrocketed to 400 overnight. Shown here are the scores of people lying in pain, waiting in triage, waiting outside, waiting for a bed to open up. The triage staff could barely keep up with the admits. It was a heartbreaking site, all too familiar to what we felt last October when outbreaks began exploding in new communities along the Artibonite.
Another call came from the mountain communities behind Petit Goave, where over a hundred had fallen ill, and the local clinic is completely overwhelmed and under-resourced to respond. More reports of a sharp spike in vulnerable populations. People will assuredly die if the response is not swift.
The global community might be sick of hearing about cholera. I, too, am sick of writing about cholera, because I've watched the blanket of misery it has draped over the people of Haiti. I hoped I could rest my pen. But tonight, I can't. I have seen what the rains have stirred up.
An unsettling truth has fallen over us: cholera is far from over here in Haiti.