Although the storm has passed and the immediate threat is out of the way, Hurricane Matthew left irreplaceable damage, took the livelihood of many families, and now poses an even greater threat to the country’s health.
Unfortunately, because the storm took down the communication towers and a bridge that leads to the area most affected by the storm, a true evaluation of the damage can’t be assessed. As soon as communication lines are back open, we will update with the status.
Grace Children’s Hospital after the Storm
In Port-au-Prince where Grace Children’s Hospital and ICC Haiti’s main office are located, much of the storm has passed. While rain lingered last night, today people are starting to venture outside again. There has been no damage to the hospital, the staff are healthy, and the children in the inpatient ward are all safe.
Yesterday, medical staff risked going to the hospital just to make sure that the children could continue their treatment. Today, the clinics are back open, and the children in the inpatient ward were able to play outside again:
The largest concern that impacts the entire country will be the spread of cholera. Introduced to the country six years ago, the disease is water-borne and can be very life-threatening if not treated correctly.
Medical Director Dr. Ronnie Derius said, "Grace Children's Hospital will intervene at a community level in order to prevent fecal-oral transmittable diseases (cholera, diarrhea, typhoid) and vectorial transmittable disease (malaria, chikungunya, Dengue, Zika)." Community health workers will receive special training on these this week. The hospital will also intensify the hygiene education classes given to the public so that people know how to remain safe.
While International Child Care is not planning at this point to raise funds specifically for hurricane relief, Haiti is still in need of your support for healthcare, and this hurricane may only increase that need.
Grace Children’s Hospitals and the clinics throughout the country that ICC manages will continue to care for all of these health concerns and will be treating hurricane victims. We urge you to give during this time of great need. It seems that Haiti is constantly burdened by new threats, and the need for its health is always present. Your gift today could save a life.