Posted by: calloftheandes | June 10, 2011

Medical Team from Ecuador Treats Influx of Cholera Patients in Haiti

Sandra Paredes, a nurse who works with HCJB Global Hands in Shell, Ecuador

A medical team from HCJB Global Hands in Ecuador has kept busy treating cholera patients since arriving in Haiti Saturday, June 4, to assist a partner at a tent hospital in Cité Soleil.

Upon arrival last weekend, the four-member team braced for the 12-hour shifts necessary to care for cholera victims at a Samaritan’s Purse (SP) cholera treatment center. Team members include nurses Kim Kirk and Sandra Paredes and physicians Mattias Egberth and Mark Nelson. They will be in Haiti for another week.

“The pediatric tent was almost full when we left [at our shift change], which means nearly 40 children,” wrote Egberth, a Swedish surgeon who works at HCJB Global Hands’ Hospital Vozandes-Shell at the edge of Ecuador’s eastern rainforest.

“We got several transfers which augmented the numbers,” Egberth recounted. “We had fewer adults though, so it kind of evened out with a total of around 140 patients.”

The children's tent was almost full early this week, according to Dr. Mattias Egberth

Just prior to the team’s arrival in Haiti, a Pan American Health Organization report estimated that 1,300 patients had been admitted to cholera treatment centers (CTCs) and cholera treatment units (CTUs) in Port-au-Prince that were operating at full capacity.

“It is really an amazing feeling to see that patients that come in nearly unconscious because of dehydration, a few days later can walk home as good as new,” wrote Egberth on Friday, June 10. “They are smiling and waving and sometimes you get a hug. It’s a great feeling.”

In the past week however, two SP vehicles were subject to armed robberies. “Now we have an escort of motorcycles on the way back and forth to the CTC,” Egberth said. “We pray and hope that nothing more will happen though. Thanks for remembering us in prayer!”

A view over the wall shows tent living outside of the SP compound

According to a report on SP’s website, “We are working swiftly to admit, treat and heal. God’s presence is drawing us together as we go from bed to bed and care for the sick in unison, each person trained in their task. He has prepared us for this time.”

SP, involved in different aspects of Haiti’s recovery since the devastating earthquake in January 2010, shifted its medical efforts in November to focus solely on treatment of cholera patients in an effort to help control the waterborne disease. Once that crisis passed, the North Carolina-based mission again resumed other aid work. SP had set up 10,000 shelters across the earthquake-affected areas while providing sanitary latrines, water and nutritional training.


  1. […] punctuates the drone of a nearby bulldozer and the steady flapping of the plastic tarp walls of a cholera treatment center […]

  2. Praise God for your efforts and that of SP. Is there some way you can get “Student Nurses” from Christian Colleges in USA to help you out? Thanks for your efforts. In Christ, Greg Markovich

    • It would be better if US nurses went directly through Samaritans Purse. Thanks for asking, Greg! -Ralph

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