COVID-19  Haiti Project #46573

Help Haiti's first line response to Covid-19

by Fondazione Francesca Rava Nph Italia Onlus
Help Haiti's first line response to Covid-19
Help Haiti's first line response to Covid-19
Help Haiti's first line response to Covid-19
Help Haiti's first line response to Covid-19
Help Haiti's first line response to Covid-19
Help Haiti's first line response to Covid-19

Here in Haiti, you well know all the recent history.
Bandits and crime are all pervasive,
Port-au-Prince is now the kidnapping capital of the world, hunger is rampant,
the President was brutally killed, and the government has very few elected members,
there was another major earthquake three months ago,
there are thousands of internal refugees from violence,
we are in our third wave of Covid, and have been dealing with major shortages of oxygen, diesel and gasoline to keep our hospitals powered and functioning.

It can seem like on an already moonless night, deep and dark clouds roll in,
covering even the last lone star.

In our many programs in Haiti, we are doing our best to deal with the many challenges here, as you are where you live.

But our farms have folded, our guest house forced to close, we have had to suspend burying the destitute dead, we have two teachers who lost their lives to bandits, we have lost a large number of staff who have fled to live in other countries, and fundraising is way down, even as urgency spirals to new heights.

Our main efforts at this tough time are for very vulnerable people, including refugees and earthquake victims, and keeping our institutions going.

We are helping full throttle at grass roots levels.

Every year Forbes magazine lists about 170 countries according to how easy or difficult it is for any enterprise to survive there.

Haiti always ranks as one of the most challenging countries in the world, in which to succeed in any business or enterprise.

We know this by our lived experience, and yet, we are dedicated. We have grit. We care.


Our motto is "If not me, who? If not now, when?"

Let's agree to care more, not less, and to let Grace enter.

You can start tonight, by looking at the closest star.

Fr Rick Frechette CP DO

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We want to share some information that came from Fr Rick Frechette earlier last month.

From May 1 to July 31, 2021 our medical team had opportunity to be of help to nearly 1,200 patients with acute, severe respiratory illness, at St Luke Hospital.

COVID testing is not widespread in Haiti, nor do results come back fast (sometimes after discharge or death), but we share the experience of others that the vast majority of those tested were shown to be COVID positive.
We all witnessed first hand that the people coming in during this wave, were even sicker than the first wave.
Our oxygen demand was higher because often we needed two tanks per person:
15 liters per minute by mask and 6 liters per minute by nasal cannula.
We were very fortunate to have received a generous supply of the antiviral medicine Remdesivir, which gave good results to those who came early on in their sickness.

We were also able, just prior to this wave and also currently, to get vaccinations for all staff who would like to be vaccinated.
The current vaccination campaign, led by St Damien Hospital and some other designated centers, is not just for medical staff, but offered to the public.

We have gone down presently from a long stretch of 105 bed occupancy, to the current 30 patients.

We are grateful to the whole courageous staff for the dedicated 24/7 care in spite of many challenges.

But we do also want to thank all of your for your spectacular support.

With your help we are able to run what amounts to an additional hospital on the St Luke Hospital compound, for these months and into the future, albeit at present at 30% capacity.

Because of your support, we are able to manage all extra staff, all the PPE materials needed, all the medicines, all the oxygen.

But also thanks to many of you, we have:

-increased the number of our oxygen tanks by 400,
-increased our bedside oxygen concentrators by 100,
-increased our oxygen producing capacity by 50 tanks per day (and will be able to increase even more),
-and we have been able to upgrade the industrial size generators and solar system that run the hospitals.

It is truly a marvel, when you consider the many stresses here in Haiti, which during this wave also included, very shockingly and sadly, the assassination of the President (and the earthquake that struck the West on August 14 ndr).

We have done, and will continue to do, our best to meet the challenges. Please keep supporting our work.

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Dear NPH friends and family,

We have rapidly risen to 115 COVID beds, all full. We are totally saturated.

We announced publicly we cannot receive any more patients until further notice.

Many people are dying on arrival in ambulances, that could find no center to take them.

Here is a huge blow to our ability to meet our emergency budget: we will be paying 80% more for oxygen starting today.

It seems world markets have driven prices up. We will likely pay $22 per refill instead of $12.

With 115 patients, about 100 need oxygen from tanks and the rest from bedside oxygen concentrators.

We produce oxygen, but only 40 tanks per day for ICU and ER- we cannot divert these tanks to COVID.

The price increase could not have happened at a worse time.
We can either reduce the hospital, or double the fundraising.
The first option is not humane, and the second is not at all easy.

We trust, as always, that our friends all over the world will help us meet the challenges.

You are well aware in your own neighborhoods of the tragic effects of this illness.

Thanks to all of you who have given in a small or mighty way to our oxygen appeal.

Thanks for any more you might be able to do, as we face both high volumes and price increases as mentioned.

We so appreciate your friendship, solidarity, help, as we do our best to carry on.

Fr Rick Frechette CP DO
Port au Prince, June 1 2021       

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It's Christmas time at St.Luke Foundation for Haiti, in its Covid-19 Hospital, its Schools and Houses.

On December the 23th, St Luke Foundation had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with the children from our Kay-O-Bwa malnutrition program.The Kay-O-Bwa Nutritional Recovery Center started in 2008 and fights against chronic malnutrition in children under 5 living mainly in Tabarre, Delmas and its surrounding communities. The center provides free treatment to approximately 260 malnourished children each month, provides them with medical mamba (fortified peanut butter) as standard treatment, but also food support including a daily hot meal and parent education on the basic nutrition - how to have a healthy diet in their circumstances. Since its creation, the center has admitted more than 40500 children,to approximately 3100 children a year with medical and nutritional support.

This year despite the months of suspension of the program due to the Covid 19 pandemic we were able to admit 2800 children in our program.

With the help of our friends from Fondazione Rava we organized a Christmas party for more than 300 children from our malnutrition program. This traditional festival is an opportunity to bring together all the children accompanied by their parents to have fun, eat and drink together. Lots of cultural and awareness programs have been organized in order to educate them on basic nutrition and taking good care of their children. We took this opportunity provide each parent with a food kit, and toys for the benefit of their children and family.

Hunger and malnutrition are serious problems in Haiti, but, in the midst of this grave situation it is also important to have fun!

So, we all wish you a better 2021: watch our New Year's Greetings and Thank You message from St.Luke's Foundation here.


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St.Luc Covid-19 Caregivers
St.Luc Covid-19 Caregivers

Dear friends,

I well remember years ago an older woman named Helen, who used to mark the distances in her travels by how many rosaries she prayed along the way. This pious practice didn’t make her any less human- she was still quite a character, funny and feisty, full of enjoyable contradiction. But it did make her wise.

The world has had its own way to mark the very short span of time since COVID-19 appeared in the human family, from December 2019 until today. The time has been short, yet the impact incalculable from every angle.

The passing of these past eight months has been measured by vast statistical presentations, dramatic world and national events (both viral related and not), and by no shortage of confrontations, some admirable and some quite disturbing. In Haiti, we share the same way of measuring the time of Covid 19, with statistics, dramatic events, and passionate confrontations.

Since Coronavirus has been lethal primarily for adults, we remember clearly the day of our first known case at St Luke Hospital on March 16, 2020. Since then, we have welcomed 1,068 proven or highly suspect cases. Of these, 703 were seriously ill and needed admission our 100 bed Coronavirus unit.

Of these 703 admitted, 173 did not survive the tough battle raging in their lungs, and 98 of these were dead on arrival. We are so pleased that the 365 outpatients recovered well, and we were thrilled with the 421 inpatients who recovered and were able to return home.

There were 52 patients who left against medical advice, to seek other forms of treatment, and 32 who were transferred to other centers for more private care.

There are 25 who are still in our beds, which shows a decrease from 95% capacity (of 100 beds) for May and June, to 25% at present.

This is the passing of our time, marked in statistics.

There is also the human measure of these days.

Think of emotions and anguish of the sick people, who were ashamed of the “Corona” label, who were ostracized and threatened by a panicked population, and were scared of both dying and living.

Think of the emotions and anguish for all of us care givers, with so many of our patients being either employees or friends, neighbors from past and present, and infected members of our own team, whose very service to the Covid 19 patients made them ill.

Measuring humanly, we have our own passionate stories of what it was like receiving all those who arrived dead, on motorcycle “ambulances,” and doors used as stretchers, and their grieving families who came with them in great numbers, and how this left tracks on our hearts and minds.

And how this multiplied the fear and anxiety in all of us, with every new cough or slight fever.

Think what it was like for staff and families to face the agonal deaths of those whose treatment was no match for the rage of their infection.

Measuring humanly, we rode the rollercoaster of steep ups and downs, with the raising and falling of each person’s blood oxygen level, measured on their fingertip oximeter. We constantly offered calm, reassuring words not to give up, to be patient, to be courageous and hopeful.

We fought alongside those with falling oxygen levels, as we leveraged all available treatments to help them, as well as keeping them on their sides or stomachs, making teas for them, praying with them and for them, blessing them with the holy oils, - even as we looked at each other through masks and fogged goggles with deep worry.

We rejoiced with those whose levels rose and rose, slowly, and saw them through, and we were deeply pained for those who died in a frightful hunger for air.

For those of us all around the world who were, and continue to be, caregivers on the front lines, we have had lot of flesh in the game, and sweat, blood and tears.

These of course, were not our only activities in 2020 up to today. Nor, of course, were your activities limited to Covid-19 survival. Trying to keep the children in our programs and schools isolated and safe required phenomenal amounts of time and creativity. We marked the passing of these months with a keen eye on the opening of banks (no money, no food) and markets (to buy especially what the sick and the children needed). We marked the passing of these months also by receiving overflows of patients from other hospitals, especially for trauma and burns. We marked the passing of these months dealing with refugee women and children fleeing gun battles around the city who arrived at our very doors. (There are still about 60 under our wings at our St Mary Center in Cite Soleil).

Yet we stand a chance to grow in wisdom, in grace and in the discovery of surprising solutions to many problems, solutions which will guarantee well-being for the whole human family and the earth itself. We need to seek truth together, freely and in good will.

I thank you most sincerely, now more than ever, for your support which has helped us to be there for the people in this great time of need.


Fr Rick Frechette


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Organization Information

Fondazione Francesca Rava Nph Italia Onlus

Location: Milano, Italy - Italy
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Fondazione_Rava
Project Leader:
Fondazione Francesca Rava Nph Italia Onlus
Milano, Italy
$23,697 raised of $300,000 goal
10 donations
$276,303 to go
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