Hope this update finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.
This year has been quite challenging, to say the least. Haiti is currently facing two crises: the global COVID-19 pandemic and gender-based violence (GBV).
In March, after identifying its first two cases of Corona virus, Haiti quickly declared a State of National Emergency closing its borders, airports, schools and some businesses. As I write to you today, three months after the first identified cases, the toll continues to rise. Here are Haiti’s current statistics as of June 10th:
3,662 total infected cases
3,582 currently infected patients
56 total patients dead
24 total recovered patients
124 number of new cases
2 number of new deaths
Haiti is now dealing with unprecedented challenges to their already compromised systems of health, education, economics and politics. The effects of this pandemic will further compound already existing issues of unemployment, food insecurity and a fragile, volatile economy.
FAHM, along with the Haitian Midwifery Association, was able to quickly put together an Immediate Pandemic Response Plan which included education for 327 midwives across Haiti’s 10 departments and the distribution of “kits” (gloves, surgical masks, N95 masks, soap, hand sanitizer, Vitamin C, and water buckets with spigots for handwashing).
GBV is also a global issue. FAHM is committed to addressing and eradicating this issue in Haiti through the midwifery model of care. During times of crisis GBV increases. Now more than ever, as we ride the tide of this pandemic, we must be able to continue to train more midwives to equip them with the necessary education, skills and resources to combat GBV in Haiti. GBV is a complex issue with multiple layers of consequences (psychological, economical, social/societal, legal and cultural). According to the 2017 Demographic Health Surveys (DHS), approximately 23.5% of women in Haiti reported sexual and physical violence committed by a partner.
We must continue to be ready to respond to immediate crises as well as their residual effects as we stay true to our mission and our scheduled programming plans. We count on you continuing to join us in staying the course. Together we are making a difference.
Sending health and strength to each of you and your loved ones. Thank you for your continued support and standing strong with Haitian women, babies, families and FAHM.
Kore Saj Fanm pou Ayiti pi djanm
Empowering midwives for a stronger Haiti