Benin: the silent disaster – malaria and cholera are threatening the population – humedica has been helping for two weeks

by Judith Kühl,  2010/11/04

The disaster that has been affecting the West African country of Benin for weeks is a silent disaster. Silent, because it has been forgotten.
Continuous rainfalls caused immense flooding. Malaria and a cholera outbreak are threatening the people’s lives. Since October 22, Judith Kühl and a medical team have been on a mission in the country to help those affected.

Up to now the humedica team has treated more than 1000 patients in Benin, among them countless children. Photo: humedica/Robert Wunderlich

Even from our car we could see the crowd of people in front of the Centre Sanite, where this day we were to treat the victims of the floods caused by heavy rainfalls over the past weeks.

First in the line was little six-year old Emmanuel. He had already been waiting for our arrival for several hours. The day before, it had been announced that our medical team consisting of two doctors, a medical student and a nurse, would visit the village.

He was having a fever, we took a temperature of 40.2 degrees, his eyes looked tired and he could hardly remain sitting on his chair. He had walked the two kilometres from his emergency shelter to us alone and on bare feet. Up to now he had not been able to afford medical aid, not to mention medications. His family’s house had been destroyed when the river Oueme burst its banks.

We had already suspected him to suffer from malaria, and when evaluating the test, the result showed the most dangerous form of malaria – malaria tropica with a very high lethality rate.

Thanks to your donations we could administer highly effective drugs to fight the disease and by doing so we have very probably saved the boy’s life.

Little Emmanuel is only one of the about 1000 patients we have treated during the past six days of our mission in different places in Benin which have been affected by the floods, and malaria is only one example of life-threatening diseases spreading now that the water has retreated once more.

Also in Benin, special care is given to our little patients. Photo: humedica/Judith Kühl

The experiences of the last weeks make it clear that we are currently dealing with a “silent disaster”. People like Emmanuel and his family are constantly living on the brink to disaster.

Every year, nature with its ever devastating strength strips them of their livelihoods. Their drinking water is polluted, their crops and fields have been destroyed and they either have no access to medical care or cannot afford it.

Please help the people in Benin! Contribute actively to the work of our honorary mission teams and help us to help those who have lost everything by means of a donation!

Please support us with your donation via our online form or to the account below:
      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference "Flood Benin"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can also support us in a fast and direct way by means of sending a text message: send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 81190. 4.83 euros of the total amount of 5 euros will be channelled directly into the humedica disaster relief projects.

Thank you very much!

Our disaster relief projects in Benin are realised in cooperation with Deutsche Stiftung für Katastrophenmedizin (German Foundation for Relief Medicine, Tübingen), and are furthermore supported by the German Federal Foreign Office (Berlin). Thank you for the excellent cooperation.

The people in Benin continue needing our help. Photo: humedica/Judith Kühl

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