April 03, 2020
There are now 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haiti and many more unconfirmed cases due to the lack of testing available. The Saint Rock Haiti Foundation staff in Haiti continues to aggressively develop concrete solutions to current and anticipated challenges. Their leadership role in the community is the best defense against this pandemic for the people of Saint Rock.
As of this week, the staff has begun to assemble and deliver emergency kits consisting of bars of soap, rice, beans, corn, and cooking oil which can sustain a family of 6 for two weeks. Each of these kits costs the clinic $40 to prepare and will allow families to avoid crowded marketplaces and to more effectively practice social distancing which is nearly impossible with many members of extended families often living under one roof.
Armed with a recent survey of families in the Saint Rock and surrounding communities, our team of Community Health Workers will be able to prioritize the delivery of the emergency kits to the most vulnerable in the community, including the frail elderly, young children and those with underlying illness.
Each dollar of the already strained health clinic budget is being used to combat this virus. We need your help to ensure that the staff can continue to produce these emergency kits for the men, women and children of Saint Rock during this time of crisis.
Update: March 27, 2020
The Saint Rock Haiti Foundation continues to work aggressively to prepare for the onslaught of COVID-19 in Haiti by increasing the capacity of our health clinic services, expanding our staff, and educating the communities we serve.
Enhanced and targeted training for Community Health Workers.
Authorization of temporary employment of university nursing and pharmaceutical students with impending graduations
Extensive planning with partners including Americares, Build Health International and Health Equity International to reinforce existing resources.
Community Outreach and Education:
Handwashing stations have been positioned throughout our communities which have little access to plumbing and running water.
Broad efforts have been organized to sew greatly needed face masks.
Community Health Workers continue to underscore the importance of social distancing in a region where several family members live together in a one room home.
HOW CAN WE ALL HELP RIGHT NOW?
To help support social distancing and ensure that families faced with COVID-19 have food for their families, emergency kits that consist of rice, beans, corn, cooking oil and bath soap are being assembled in Haiti. This endeavor is of primary importance and of urgent need for the 50,000 individuals who live in this region. Please consider joining our efforts with a gift to the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation.
Dr. Kenes Eloy, our medical director at the health clinic in Haiti shared with us the following Haitian proverb…. “se lew nan malè pou w konnen siw gen bon zanmi” which means, “you can recognize your friends when you are in need”.
Preparing for the Pandemic
The staff of the health center in Saint Rock meets with the community leaders to educate and discuss strategies for dealing with COVID-19.
Our Response to COVID-19 in Saint Rock
We have been faced with an enormous challenge at home and around the globe with the arrival of the coronavirus. In this time of fear and uncertainty we are thinking of all of you along with the vulnerable in Haiti. We have long worked in solidarity with our Haitian colleagues to help assure equity in health care, education and economic opportunities but the reality is that much inequity remains and the deadly nature of this virus could erase the advances if we do not remain steadfast in partnership.
As the first 2 cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed in Haiti, we have begun to implement plans that have been in development over the past weeks and days. We have been working around the clock to strengthen partnerships, prepare our staff and collaborate with local government, civic, religious and school leaders to create the best plan for survival. Our staff of nurses, doctors and Community Health Workers are bravely waiting for the first patients to arrive in the Saint Rock community. We know inequality in the most basic of resources will likely have disastrous results.
As in every other challenge Haiti has faced, from earthquakes, hurricanes, cholera, government instability and chronic poverty, we will work in the spirit of a mutual desire for a more fair and equal life for all. Unlike many other diseases, coronavirus does not know borders so as we care for ourselves and our neighbors at home, please do not forget our Haitian family.
We are all contending with the impacts of this pandemic, none more so than those who do not have access to basic health necessities to survive this outbreak. In times of emergency, the call to action is difficult to ignore. Every little bit of support provided during a crisis can have a life -saving impact and provide help and hope for those affected.
We will continue to keep you updated on the impact of coronavirus in Saint Rock and all the surrounding communities we serve. Please consider a making a gift to help support our mobilization efforts.
Our wish is for your health and safety during these trying days. We think of you and all those we care about around the world.