Lespwa fe viv . . . (Haitian proverb: Hope gives life)
While we are watching from afar the completion of the Maternity Center, many other efforts are continuing in Terre Blanche to bring hope to this mountain community. During a grueling time for Haitians where the focus is on finding daily necessities such as food and fuel, water sanitation diseases continue to claim lives. Cholera is one of those diseases that thrives in emergency conditions.
The Clinic of Hope in Terre Blanche, in collaboration with ACF/UNICEF and the community health program “Repons Kont Kolera,” organized a community meeting for this vulnerable population to reduce cholera-related mortality and morbidity.
On May 4, nearly 230 people from the Terre Blanche community learned about cholera-control strategies. After joining in prayer, Brother Joseph Wilson, Pastor Delamy Bazilme, and Director of Public Health for the Artibonite Valley, Dr. Savien, presented a brief history of preventative measures and new cholera-control practices to adopt, followed by discussion and distribution of home kits. These kits include medication, soap, hand scrubbing brushes, water filters, purification tabs and gloves, all contained in a valuable, reusable bucket.
This group of vulnerable community members went home that day being able to articulate the definition of cholera, its modes of transmission, cite good and bad hygiene practices and have the tools in hand to follow through in their homes and with their children.
We are so grateful for the collaboration of agency and community resources to save lives and share healthy practices with our friends in Terre Blanche!
by Susan Paynter, RN, HFH Board Member