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Church members among dead in cholera outbreak

An outbreak of cholera in Haiti has claimed at least 250 lives — including members of three Churches of Christ.
At least 3,000 Haitians are infected with cholera — a bacterial infection often caused by drinking contaminated water, according to news reports.
Christians who worship with the St. Marc, St. Michelle and Dessalines congregations are among the dead, said Dr. David Smith, a church member who oversees the Haiti Christian Development Project in Little Rock, Ark.
Gueston Pacius, a Haitian minister and development director for the Arkansas ministry, helped remove some of the dead bodies, Smith said.
At press time, Pacius was in the port city of Gonaives, Haiti, “going through the final steps to get a host of medical supplies and water filters released” from a shipment sent by church members, Smith said.
The death toll in Haiti — still recovering from a devastating earthquake in January — is expected to rise. Hospitals across the Gonaives region are completely full, Pacius said in a report to Smith.
“A lot of people suffer right now,” Pacius said. “Some already are sick. Some are waiting for their turn. Some are sad because they lost all their family.”
Jean T. Elmera, minister for the Delmas 28 Church of Christ in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, has transported supplies donated by Healing Hands International to the affected areas.
“As a worker in public health for 18 years, (I know) this could be avoided,” Elmera said. “But poor hygiene and lack of health education (have) downsized Haiti into this hole.”
TO CONTRIBUTE to Haiti relief, see www.hcdp.net, www.hhi.org or globalsamaritan.org.

Filed under: International

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