Aid Group Urges Prayer as Haiti's Cholera Death Toll Passes 900

( [email protected] ) Nov 15, 2010 04:02 AM EST
Cholera has claimed nearly 1,000 deaths in Haiti, the government reported Sunday.
A woman and a youth attend mass next to the rubble of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday Nov. 14, 2010. AP Images / Emilio Morenatti

Cholera has claimed nearly 1,000 deaths in Haiti, the government reported Sunday.

The outbreak continues to devastate the Caribbean nation that is still recovering from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake from early this year.

According to the Haitian Ministry of Health, 917 people have died from cholera and more than 14,000 have been hospitalized.

"First the earthquake, then the cholera outbreak, and now ... severe weather here. All of it is testing the limits of Haiti," said Sabrina Pourmand-Nolen, World Vision's emergency program director in Haiti, in an earlier statement.

Cholera, caused by a particular bacterial infection, is most likely to occur in places where there is limited access to clean water or sanitation is poor. Flooding from Hurricane Tomas earlier this month exacerbated sanitary conditions in Haiti.

Aid groups have largely been focusing on prevention through hygiene education and soap distribution.

Bright Hope is utilizing its indigenous church network and partners in Haiti to educate the Haitian community on sanitary measures that can prevent further outbreaks.

The network is also distributing rehydration supplies and medicines.

According to Bright Hope, the main treatment for Cholera is oral rehydration therapy, which can be achieved through a solution of salt, sugar and clean water, given in large doses.

"Please keep the Haitian people in your prayers as they face yet another life threatening challenge," President Craig H. Dyer said in a public appeal.