Posted by: calloftheandes | November 19, 2010

Skilled Ecuador Team with Medicines to Combat Cholera in Haiti

A medical team from Ecuador is traveling to the besieged Caribbean country of Haiti amid a death toll from cholera careening ever higher.
Up to 200,000 Haitians could contract cholera, as the water-borne illness spreads, the United Nations said on November 12. Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health had put the death toll at more than 1,100 deaths earlier this week, with nearly 18,400 hospitalizations. But, UN aid agencies noted that these statistics are several days old. The true number of deaths and hospitalizations could be even higher.

Earl Hartwig, Team Leader

Earl Hartwig, a Canadian, is leading an HCJB Global Hands team that leaves Quito on Saturday, November 20. He asks that people pray the six-person team would flex to do whatever they’re assigned to by their host, Samaritan’s Purse (SP).

Hartwig also desires that “in whatever we do in the long hours and possibly in the disappointing moments when someone dies, that we will shine the light of Jesus to everyone who comes in contact with us.”
Two people have died in riots that erupted in the north, as protestors accused United Nations peacekeepers of bringing in the disease. The assertion has been denied by the UN, but Haiti’s health experts have requested an investigation into whether Nepalese peacekeepers introduced a strain of cholera to Haiti, which had documented no cases of cholera before October.

The team’s luggage was tightly packed with medicines, but even at nearly 500 pounds of pharmaceuticals they’re not able to transport everything requested by SP. They’ve packed some extra clothing or personal effects into a carry-on bag; medicines occupy the rest of their suitcases. Team members with Hartwig are: Juanita Buñay, Dr. Manuel Catani, Dr. Mauricio Coronel, Dr. Evelyn Hidalgo, and Ruth Telenchana.

Four previous HCJB Global Hands teams have traveled from Ecuador in 2010. This marks the first trip to Haiti for French-speaking, Ecuadorian nurse, Ruth Telenchana. Her prior mission trips to Impfondo, Congo for medical work saw her French put to good use. The team represents a cross-section of Ecuador’s society; nurse Juanita Buñay is Quichua and Manuel Catani, a physician in residency at Hospital Vozandes Quito (HVQ) is Shuar.

Another HVQ residency physician, Evelyn Hidalgo, will serve on the team, along with Mauricio Coronel. Additionally, Buñay is mentored through, Corrientes, a Latin American missions mobilization initiative currently directed by Hartwig.

Since January 2010, SP has been involved in different aspects of Haiti’s recovery following a devastating earthquake. With the cholera outbreak, SP has shifted its medical efforts to focus solely on treatment of cholera patients and control of the water-borne disease. Ten-thousand SP shelters are set up across the earthquake-affected areas. The mission has also provided sanitary latrines, water and nutritional training.

Sources: HCJB Global, VOA News, CNN


  1. […] went with two cars—as Dr. Coronel and Ralph would go back to Quito today—to the military base that is the collection and […]

  2. […] to join us and to do a short trip to Chone and visit the Samaritan’s Purse Hospital. We met some friends we had seen in Haiti some years […]

  3. […] this morning (Friday, May 6). The team includes veteran missionary physician Dr. Steve Nelson, Dr. Mauricio Colonel of Reach Beyond’s Carapungo Clinic in Quito and writer Ralph […]

  4. […] center near Haiti’s capital to confront a cholera outbreak that began in late 2010. At that time HCJB Global Hands responded with two medical teams, one of which Schirmacher led in […]

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Doug Weber, Doug Weber. Doug Weber said: @hcjbglobal has new medical team in Haiti. Members include a Shuar , Quichua, Canadian & Ecuadorian. […]

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