I avoided blogging about this while we were gone because I didn't want to cause panic in the hearts of the friends and family of our team. However, now that we are home I think it is safe to ask for your prayers.
President Pepe Lobo interrupted the news this past week for a national cadena, in which he declared Honduras to be in a state of emergency because of a dengue epidemic (a very serious mosquito-borne flu-like illness). Ten people have died from dengue hemorrágico, which can be a fatal form of the disease if not treated. Police and military will be ensuring that all hospitals stay open 24-hours per day.
The Minister of Health has been authorized to contract for whatever supplies and with whatever personnel are necessary. The sad truth is that these states of emergency are usually just a license to steal. Will anyone audit the expenses or the personnel contracted? How many will be hired for their family ties rather than their medical abilities?
A few interesting facts not mentioned are:
More than 10,200 people have been affected by dengue classico, and 400 by dengue hemorrágico (DH) so far this year. In 2009, there were almost 13,000 classic dengue cases and more than 500 cases of DH. This year 70% of the cases have been in the Tegucigalpa area.
No government has declared a state of emergency for dengue since 2002, when there was 32,000 cases.
The hospital personnel union has been on strike since June 11 and have "taken" hospital buildings and health centers, which may have something to do with the police and military being involved.
An announcement was made yesterday that one or more of the large hospitals are out of IV fluids, something that is crucial to keep DH patients alive.
Please continue to pray for our team. The incubation period for this infection is 3-14 days so some of our team could still be affected. Please be praying against that.....and please be praying for the country of Honduras. It is rare for people to die from it in the states. However, that isn't always the case in Honduras.