It has now been a little over 2 months since Hurricane Matthew decimated southwestern Haiti, leaving behind massive and widespread destruction of HHF’s service area in Jeremie and surrounding mountain villages.
As the Country Director for HHF, I live at the HHF Clinic and was here in Jeremie before, during, and after the storm – 12 hours of 140-170 MPH winds and pounding rain. As soon as I stepped out of the Clinic and saw the extreme damage, one quote kept popping into my head from Dr. Martin Luther King: “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”
Once the winds stopped and the storm had fully passed, we discovered significant damage to our facilities. Despite the fact that many of our staff sustained tremendous damage to their homes and many had injuries or deaths in their own families, all showed up to clean, cut wood, move trees, rake, dry floors, make repairs, etc., to get our Clinic and Center of Hope ready to treat patients and respond to the many other needs, such as distributing food and repairing houses.
Your donations have helped us to provide:
Health Care, City of Jeremie (HHF Clinic and Center of Hope)
Thousands of emergencies – injuries and broken bones, infections, head injuries, tetanus, etc. These injuries were made worse with no clean water available to wash the wounds. 13,491 patients were treated between Oct 6-29 – a huge increase from our normal patient load (approximately 1,400/month).
HHF is currently the only facility with X-Ray services in the Grand’Anse region of Haiti (home to over 600,000 people), and we performed hundreds of X-Rays in October.
Health Care, HHF Mountain Villages
Although access has been extremely difficult, efforts continue to assess conditions in the remote villages. Not only were roads destroyed, trees and other debris blocked access by vehicle. HHF staff has to park and then walk several hours to access the mountain villages, carrying medical and other supplies on their backs. These amazing healthcare workers provided care to 6,893 people between Oct 6-29 and continue to provide care to approximately 220 people per mobile clinic. In the midst of the urgent health care for hurricane victims, HHF continued providing our customary health services to the community – vaccinations, malnutrition recovery program, and pre/postnatal care.
Food/Hygiene Kit Distribution:
Mountain Villages: HHF has been working day in and day out to provide food, hygiene kits, and water purification initiatives for the many thousands of people living in very remote, difficult to access villages.
Orphanage support: Since the hurricane, HHF has been assisting a total of 403 children at eleven local orphanages. The orphanages receive enough food to last a week at a time. Medical and dental care is also provided to the children.
Vulnerable populations, including Save-a-Family: HHF has distributed 3,000+ food and hygiene kits to the most vulnerable families – enough food for a week, as people have no storage or refrigeration. Over the next 4-6 weeks, HHF will be distributing another 4,000 food and hygiene kits and 1,200 kits for pregnant women.
To everyone who has supported our work, we say a sincere “thank you”. Your donations have allowed HHF to deliver relief to many vulnerable families, now in even more urgent need of healthcare and aid. Our staff of 184 people worked continuously, 7:30am-6pm every day for a month, taking no time off for weekends or holidays, to respond to the terrible conditions so many families found themselves in after the hurricane. We cannot continue to provide this excellent care without your ongoing support.
Update from Nadesha Mijoba, Country Director, Haitian Health Foundation, Jérémie, Haiti:
“Thank you to everyone who has supported our work so far. Please, continue to spread the word that Hurricane Matthew has passed, but the suffering is really only beginning.” Read more…
These are the very latest, preliminary statistics that have just been made available to us today. Note that this is Jérémie Commune only, and does not include the more rural communities surrounding Jérémie.
- There are 191 confirmed deaths so far in Jérémie Commune;
- There are 9,000 reported injuries so far;
- 100,020 people are reported as homeless, including many infants and children;
- 16,500 houses were completely destroyed; 35,000 were severely damaged, and another 65,000 houses are intact, but damaged and vulnerable;
- Nearly all of the livestock died, including goats, cows, mules, dogs and cats. Read more…
The health situation in Jérémie continues to deteriorate. Cholera cases are rising, and people with infections, injuries, and broken limbs continue to come to HHF, seeking care. Read more…
Listen to today’s BBC Newsday update on Haiti, featuring HHF Country Director Nadesha Mijoba:
We heard from our Country Director Nadesha Mijoba just now – thanks to our partners we are beginning to get supplies in and will be distributing in the next 24 hours. Special thanks to Caris Foundation, Americares, Project Medishare and others for mobilizing so quickly. There is absolute devastation in Jeremie and surrounding mountains and we continue to need your support. We will continue to keep you posted as news is changing every hour.
Nadesha was also interviewed on the BBC:
– Courtesy BBC
We’re having a planning meeting today with our partners on the ground, and we’ve issued an official press release. Money is needed now, and can be utilized faster than donations of water, food and medicine which will take longer to get to Haiti. Money can be used right away. HHF will be getting medicine and water purification units and medical workers and setting up cholera treatment as there are already 14 cases that we know about. Caris Foundation is setting up a base at HHF in Jérémie as HHF there still has power and excellent infrastructure. Getting food in is also a main priority and we will be attempting to reach more partners with that expertise. Again, we ask everyone to spread the word and raise funds. Thank you for your compassion for these struggling people.
We finally heard from our Country Director in Jérémie, Nadesha Mijoba.