Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries
Reports from our Sierra National Conference in West Africa indicate that up until August 9 there had been 203 deaths in the country due to an outbreak of cholera.
Cholera is an infection in the small intestine caused by a particular bacteria. It can lead to profuse, watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person. The severity of the diarrhea and vomiting can lead to rapid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, and death in some cases. Worldwide, it affects 3–5 million people and causes 100,000 – 130,000 deaths per year on average.
However, we are pleased to receive news that in the areas where water filter systems were introduced last summer by former missionaries Bryan and Gail Welch of Coolwater Projects, no symptoms or outbreaks have occurred.
There remain a number of water filter systems that were not installed last summer due to time restraints, but hopes are that the remaining filters can be installed by volunteers from within the conference in areas where they are most critically needed.