Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cholera, Internet, Donations

Hello everyone, this is Daniel, the french Canadian "web guy".  Sharon phoned me this morning from Cap-Haitien and because she has no access to Internet, told me this message over the phone.(Typos and bad sentence structures all mine).

Things are not well over there.  Cholera is spreading fast, all the kids are scared of catching it.  Some carry bleach with them to wash their hands, some have put bleach in their nose to prevent the germs from going in.  Misinformation is everywhere.
Because of the manifestations, schools in Cap-Haitien are still close and Sharon suspects that's going to be the case until after the elections this week.

Starthrower Foundation has no Internet access anymore and Sharon was able to go into town to "Hotel du Roi Chistophe" for their wireless service and other Internet cafe but not anymore.  On this note, if someone would be able to help with the Internet Provider monthly fees to unable Sharon to be back online, that would be greatly appreciated. (Update - found someone, thank you!)

Now to the big problem, cholera.

One of our student in Sen Rafayel, Vaudre, caught it and got treated at the Hospital.  No clinics in Sen Rafayel are accepting people with symptoms of Cholera, the only place they can go if they don't want to die is the hospital, but it cost money.  As I'm writing this, Vaudre is cured but the hospital won't release him until he pays the medical fees, which stands now at $170 US.  And that amount will grow everyday that he stays there.  If he doesn't pay, he will go to jail.  Students are telling Sharon that they would prefer to die from cholera than to go to that jail, which is notorious for human rights abuse...
That is the same hospital that refused to admit Consienne's blind father because he had no money. He died a few days after.

Hospitals in Haiti are not like here.  Vaudre doesn't have a bed.  Vaudre sleeps on the floor.  If he brought a piece or carpet with him, he's using that to sleep on.  Food or water are not provided.  A family member has to bring him food and water.  As far as I can tell, he's being help "hostage" until he pays (that's my angry reaction, not Sharon's).

In the news, wherever you see medical responses to the cholera outbreak, it's provided by NGO's like "Doctors without Borders".  In Cap-Haitien, "Doctors without Borders" have a free clinic in a school's gym.

There are no NGO's reaching Sen Rafayel.  We are worried about Vaudre and our students.  More will get sick and could die before this is all over.  Starthrower Foundation is the only NGO in Sen Rafayel and we don't have enough money to deal with this crisis.

Sharon is asking for your help.  She needs new funds right now for treatment of cholera for our students and their families.  We are asking all Starthrowers out there to donate what you can. 

The panic is very real.

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