All patients are instructed to wear masks.
The Covid-19 crisis in Haiti is much worse than it was when C2C first launched our campaign on GlobalGiving. As of July 31, 2020, Haiti has confirmed 7,412 cases of Covid-19 and 161 deaths. However, the reality is likely much worse--only two labs in the entire country are able to process Covid-19 tests and experts fear the real number of infections is much greater than what is being reported. In March, the government called for a brief country-wide lockdown, but by May the number of cases began steadily increasing once businesses reopened. A senior official at the WHO recently stated concern for Haiti due to “its unique circumstances, unique fragility and the fact that the disease is accelerating in a highly vulnerable population.”
Over the past few months, C2C has continued to work with Haiti’s Ministry of Health every day to support the government’s Covid response, adapting our plans and priorities as the crisis continues to evolve. Just like in the US, public health education has been crucial to preventing the spread of Covid-19 in the communities we serve--but it has not been easy.
“For us, the main way to deal with the pandemic in Haiti is prevention,” says C2C’s Chief Operating Officer Dr. Samuel Bernard. At first, our staff found it challenging to convince people to follow best practices for virus mitigation. “People didn’t want to hear about [the virus] because they didn’t trust that it was real,” reflects Dr. Bernard. “Asking patients to wear masks, washing their hands before entering our clinics, was a fight. But, by providing education many times a day in the clinics [and the communities], our patients finally understood that they should follow the protocol to avoid being infected.”
Our Covid-19 clinical and community education activities would not be possible without your support. We will continue to respond to Covid-19 in northern Haiti until this crisis is over and we thank you for all you have done for C2C during these difficult times!