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Dengue fever sweeps Sri Lanka

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An unprecedented dengue fever outbreak is spreading through Sri Lanka after flooding earlier this year. More than half of Sri Lanka’s districts were inundated by monsoon rains, leaving standing water as prime mosquito breeding areas.

The current infection rate is more than four times the annual average recorded since 2010. Since the beginning of 2017, more than 100,000 cases and nearly 300 deaths have been reported. Sri Lankan hospitals are so full they have been forced to turn away patients.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that can cause severe pain and even death in severe cases. There is no known vaccination for the disease, so the best way to treat it is to avoid it altogether. With prevention as their goal, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in Sri Lanka (NCM Lanka) has begun a project to clean up trash in areas where mosquitoes breed.

Mosquitoes can turn even small amounts of standing water, such as in an empty food container, into breeding grounds. NCM Lanka is working to eliminate standing water by removing trash, implementing recycling efforts, and filling in low ground areas where water collects.

They are focusing on 11 communities where they run child development centers and have already developed relationships, predominately in areas where government cleanup efforts aren’t able to reach. In addition to promoting recycling, NCM Lanka staff are partnering with the government to promote cleanup efforts through the distribution of trashcans. They are also implementing educational programs on the importance of removing standing water and how to recognize signs of dengue. Through these efforts, approximately 750 families will be directly impacted.

How to help

Pray

Please pray for those who have lost loved ones and those who are caring for spouses, children, parents, and friends. Pray for those who are recovering from illness and for protection of lives, especially for vulnerable children and senior adults.

Give

Churches and individuals around the world can provide support through the Sri Lanka Dengue Fever Outbreak Fund. Donations will be used for tools and materials necessary for prevention efforts and education.

To send donations by mail:

In the U.S., make checks payable to “General Treasurer” and send them to:

Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116

Be sure to put 128164 in the Memo area.

In Canada, make checks payable to “Church of the Nazarene Canada” and send them to:

Church of the Nazarene Canada
20 Regan Road, Unit 9
Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3

Be sure to put 128164 in the Memo area.

For additional countries, please give through your local church or district, designating your gift to Sri Lanka Dengue Fever Outbreak.

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