Last night Teo a 55 year old neighbor, was anxiously awaiting our arrival at dark after coming back for the second time. She wanted us to pray for her 7 year old grandson Sebastian who had contracted Yellow Fever and was in the middle of emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. Yellow Fever has killed 7 so far this month in Paraguay, according to USAToday.
It’s the first outbreak here in since 1974. The problem is that there is a shortage of vaccinations. We’ve received emergency shipments from Peru and Brazil, yet they aren’t enough to vaccinate everyone. Pharmacies are charging between $40-$50 for a single vaccination; which is a week’s salary for the average worker. The border bridges into Argentina and Brazil have been temporarily closed, due to the epidemic scare. To cross, one has to show proof of vaccination.
What are we doing about it? We are bringing health education awareness to our state. We are devoting the morning show at the radio station to bring in medical specialists to inform our listeners about the need to be vaccinated and to eradicate mosquito “nesting” areas in their neighborhoods. We are supporting our local medical centers and making sure everyone gets the vaccine. Mosquitoes are a huge concern for this tropical nation. Last year, the big mosquito-borne epidemic was Dengue.
Thanks for helping us eradicate this national health problem!