What Awaits Palin in Haiti

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This weekend, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin will make a rare trip beyond U.S. borders, traveling to Haiti to see how a Christian organization is addressing the cholera epidemic there. The Reverend Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son, is the head of Samaritan's Purse, an evangelical relief organization that has set up two cholera clinics in the beleaguered island nation. In a statement to the press, Graham waxed enthusiastic about Palin's visit. "I believe Governor Palin will be a great encouragement to the people of Haiti and to the organizations, both government and private, working so hard to provide desperately needed relief," he said.

What will Palin find when she arrives in Haiti? These photos, taken by Julie Dermansky in and around Samaritan's Purse clinics, provide some indication. The epidemic has stabilized in the Port-au-Prince area, thanks to public health education and earlier detection. Some patients who report their symptoms early enough are able to be rehydrated, treated, and discharged in the same day. But as government workers wander the streets, collecting bodies and throwing them into mass graves, it's clear that the crisis is far from over.

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Julie Dermansky is a multimedia reporter and artist based in New Orleans. She is an affiliate scholar at Rutgers University's Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. Visit her website at www.jsdart.com.

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