Delivering Critical Aid in the Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew
Hurricane Matthew caused massive destruction in Haiti, leading to the country’s worst humanitarian crisis since the January 2010 earthquake. Winds of 130 –145 miles an hour, storm surges and heavy rains caused catastrophic damage to homes, agricultural crops, livestock, roads and bridges. It is estimated that more than 1,000 people have died – a number that is expected to rise.
Project Medishare has mobilized its team to deliver emergency medical care and supplies to affected communities in the southwest, and prepare for an anticipated rise in cholera cases and malnutrition in the Central Plateau.
In Jeremie, one of the hardest hit communities, we are working with Hospital Bernard Mevs (HBM), Haitian Health Foundation, Caris Foundation, Americares and Sow-a-Seed. Referred to as the Jeremie Response Group, this coalition of community-based, majority Haitian-led organizations has decades of experience in Haiti. The group is also coordinating its efforts with the Government of Haiti.
As of Sunday, six volunteers from HBM and PM have been deployed to Jeremie to provide critical care and other medical support. The first day the field clinic opened, roughly 300 people lined up to receive care for injuries that have been left untreated since the hurricane. More than 1,000 food and hygiene kits, which include water purification tablets, chlorine and mosquito nets, will be distributed over the next several days. We are also providing capacity building support, medications and supplies to the government run St. Antoine Hospital to help ensure staff is able to continue assisting the community once the emergency response has ended.
Project Medishare Board Member and Washington Redskins player Pierre Garçon, with his teammate Ricky Jean Francois, visited HBM to deliver medical supplies and visit with patients. To date, nine people injured during the hurricane have been transported to HBM for treatment and surgery. Injuries ranged from leg fractures to infected wounds to head trauma. There was one case of cholera. HBM has been providing care to these patients at no charge, and supporting them with food.
In the Central Plateau, Hurricane Matthew also affected Project Medishare’s communities of Thomonde, Marmont and Lahoye, though to a much lesser extent. A few homes were damaged, and flash flooding wiped out crops and triggered small landslides. Most concerning is the spike in cholera cases. After the storm, five new cases of cholera were registered at our clinic in Lahoye. To combat a widespread outbreak, Project Medishare’s community health agents, doctors and nurses are conducting education, prevention and treatment services to the 70,000 people under our umbrella of care.
Our ability to respond to this disaster would not be possible without the support of our donors, volunteers and partners. Thank you for helping us make a difference.