PRHDR staff traveling to see patients.
A new year at PRHDR and as with the rest of the world, we are still facing the very real challenges that come with the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, we'd like to give our community a recap of PRHDR's end to 2020 and the exciting plans we look forward to in 2021.
Rounding Out 2020
PRHDR ended the year with the continuation of treatment of patients in our 19 rural villages. It was announced by the universities we partner with that travel would continue to be restricted through the winter for all students, therefore requiring PRHDR to cancel its winter trip. However, due to our success over the summer of treating patients with our in field staff, PRHDR was prepared to continue delivering services throughout this time and training health promoters.
At the end of 2020, the Dominican Republic faced 147,700 cases of COVID-19 at 975 cases a day as cited by the Dominican government as of December 6th. Fear, increasing unemployment, and a lack of accessible PPE have increased barriers to receiving appropriate healthcare in the DR during the Pandemic. PRHDR plans to continue its current model of sending in field staff to visit patients and ensure they receive their necessary medications. Further, PRHDR has had the ability to continue training local village leaders in becoming community health workers in order to care for their community members throughout this time.
On December 6th, 2020, PRHDR was able to virtually host its first annual Alumni + Friends Reunion. There, 31 PRHDR board, staff, volunteer, student, and community members gathered to reflect on PRHDR's developments in 2020. Board members and on the ground staff were able to present on PRHDR's current work and the state of the DR at this time. We very much enjoyed catching up with many familiar faces that we have been unable to visit this year! PRHDR was able to raise $500 in funds from this event and hopes to continue this as year-end tradition, eventually in person!
Looking Forward to 2021
As we continue with our remote model of serving patients in country, PRHDR will continue to be prioritizing continuity of care amongst patients during this time. It is our hope that come summer, we will be able to send down a team of volunteers, if not additionally students, to see patients. Further, PRHDR is looking to improve upon and refine its health promoter, or Promotora, program to expand community knowledge and resilience.
PRHDR is still in the process of procuring property in the DR to set up permanent clinic space, but efforts have been slowed due to indirect effects of the Pandemic. We hope to see this process speed up in 2021.
We will need to continue to raise money to treat patients during this winter season and prepare for a potential trip in the summer. We have been incredibly lucky to see PRHDR's community, both in Maine and the DR, stay supportive of our mission. We are looking to increase PRHDR's visibility and build partnerships in order to help fulfill our organization's mission of providing quality continuity of healthcare to those who lack access. Please feel free to reach out to us to get involved or show support! We are beyond fortunate to have a community like this! We will see you in spring!
A sunny day in while visiting patients.