cholera-like illness

cholera-like illness

By In Pokot On September 7, 2009

A cholera-like illness has left over 30 people dead in the area and 50 seriously ill in the District hospital.  The authorities expect the death toll to rise when they find out what has happened in isolated homes in the interior.

The Red Cross and the Kenya Army have arrived and are bringing in food, water and medicine.  Mobile teams from the Barpello and Kositei Catholic Missions and the East Pokot Medical Project (from the Barpello Mission) are going into the remote areas with emergency food, water and medicines.  Sufficient relief supplies are not reaching these areas.  The roads are dust tracks, some so deep in dust that even the Mission’s land-cruisers were finding difficulty getting through.

The teams have found people and animals dead from malnutrition and disease.  In one village they had to make the heartbreaking decision not to help bury the dead for fear of carrying infection to the people they are treating.  In one small hospital they found 5 people in isolation, all on drips.  One was in the hospital itself, two in an old garage, a little boy in the shade of an old shed and one under the base of an empty water tank.  All patients are showing the symptoms of cholera but the results of lab tests are still awaited.

In one area tribal conflict has made the position even worse such that Lomelo is now a deserted centre.  It used to have a nursery and primary school, both now empty because people have fled due to clashes between the Pokot and Turkana.  The environment is hostile, desolate, isolated, hot and dusty.  No bush, no water and few people.  The teams found two young boys with guns guarding their three surviving cows.

The Mission is buying and grinding uni-mix (emergency food) and maize and providing medicines.  The preparation and transport of these is proving very expensive but of course there is no alternative for a Christian Mission.  We have made an emergency appeal to the charities and groups which support the Mission and the work of the East Pokot Medical Project which is now sorely stretched.  Thank you very much for the cheque you sent for £1,500.

Please pray for the Mission and the Pokot people.

Fr David

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Fr David

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