– Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

Dismal situation in Jérémie, Haiti

Norwich, CT, October 8, 2016– Southwestern Haiti was hit by the powerful category 4 Hurricane Matthew on Monday October 3. After losing communication early Tuesday morning, the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) has made contact with staff and volunteers in the hard-hit city of Jérémie. The team in Jérémie is all safe and accounted for. The historic town of was directly impacted by the eye of the storm and sustained catastrophic damage. Early estimates indicate over 80% of buildings were damaged, and crops and livestock were wiped out. Damage to roads and bridges has made access to the area difficult.

The Haitian Health Foundations facilities in Jérémie appear to be some of the few structures that have weathered the storm and are able to provide desperately need services. The main clinic and other HHF centers have power as a result of diesel generators and solar panels and are currently providing meals and medical services. Many citizens in the rural mountain villages have had their fragile homes and businesses torn apart and many mountain roads have been washed out.

The Haitian Health Foundation’s National Director, Nadesha Mijoba spoke with the team via satellite phone and sent along a video briefly describing the situation there.

I’m so remarkably impressed with our staff on the ground and their capabilities. They have been able to repair our water and solar systems so that as of last night, the Center of Hope is completely back on solar power. Villages are destroyed. Any structure with a tin roof is gone. Miraculously, all our staff is now accounted for. We have been getting water out to the poorest parts of town, and our priorities now are for water purification, food, and getting medicines (especially for wound care) to the people that need it. – Nadesha Mijoba – Haitian Health Foundation, National Director

Due to the complexity of getting supplies to the the area and the immediate needs, Haitian Health Foundation is seeking monetary donations. Additional repairs are required to solar panels and communication equipment. Traditional cargo shipments of food and supplies are slow to arrive and medical supplies and services are urgently needed help impacted residents. Already 14 cases of cholera have been confirmed. More chases of cholera are expected to arise due to unsanitary water.  The Haitian Health Foundation is working with Americares, Caris Foundation, other relief agencies to help provide an effective coordinated response.

We have developed a very strong plan to address the clear needs for Jérémie and surrounding areas… The need is great in terms of shelter food and water. The health need is also great and is evolving into a serious situation. Fortunately, I strongly believe that we can do much to avert the problems. – Nat Segaren – Caris Foundation, Country Director

The mission of the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) is to improve the health and well-being of women, children, families and communities living in the greater Jérémie region through healthcare, education and community development. HHF has established a stable and responsive preventive and curative health care system and development programs in one of the poorest area of Haiti. The Haitian Health Foundation serves a population of almost 225,000 people. In addition to the city of Jérémie, HHF provides support to over 100 rural mountain villages in the Grand’Anse. There is still so much to do, but HHF continues to change lives ~ one person at a time. To learn more about HHF and how you can donate to the relief effort visit: http://haitianhealthfoundation.org

Caris Foundation™ is a Texas Non-Profit Private Foundation established in Irving, Texas, in 2002 to aid and empower impoverished people. In doing so, the foundation seeks to establish a local presence within communities in order to understand the people’s basic needs and implement solutions that are culturally relevant and sustainable. For information about the Caris Foundation visit: http://carisfoundation.org

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Marilyn Lowney at 860-608-7901 or email at marilyn@haitianhealthfoundation.org.

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