Community health workers speak to residents about steps they can take to prevent the spread of cholera. Credit: ACT/Paul Jeffery

Late last week the ELCA committed over $500,000 to help the Lutheran Church in Haiti as it continues to respond to the cholera epidemic that has affected the country since October 2010. As of May almost 125,000 people have been hospitalized resulting in over 5000 deaths. The main cause of the epidemic has been linked to poor access to drinking water and insufficient waste management. This newest commitment by the ELCA is on top of an original designation of $525,000 for cholera prevention and education made last November.

The Lutheran Church in Haiti is responding in two of the hardest hit areas, targeting 17,000 families (approx. 100,000 people), by providing management of patients and prevention education and efforts. This new phase, running from May to October, is a continuation of an earlier phase that ran from February to May. The focus of both phases is on educating and supporting families by sharing ways to prevent the spread of cholera and what to do once a person becomes infected. As part of this effort a mobile medical and paramedical team of 90 health agents, 2 doctors and 4 nurses has been mobilized. So far the earlier intervention has led to 430 lives saved and 3,100 cases of cholera contained.

Gifts to ELCA International Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.