HAS’ efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Haiti continue. Our team of community health workers continue to raise awareness of precautions. We have many handwashing stations and distribute hygiene kits to the community.
The results are heartening. Dr. Hedwige Pierre, Community Health Medical Director, says he has observed more people wearing masks and observing social distancing in HAS’ service area compared to other parts of the country. “When I recently visited our health center in the mountains in Tienne, I was encouraged to see every patient wearing a mask.”
To date, the hospital has treated 87 patients who tested positive for COVID-19. The community health centers have seen 140 suspected cases. Fortunately, these numbers are lower than we anticipated at the start of the pandemic, but there is still more work to do.
One of the challenges we are actively working against is a COVID-19 stigma in Haiti. People who contract the virus have been harassed. Out of fear, they hide their symptoms and hesitate to seek medical care.
But thanks to collaboration with community leaders, we are making progress on reducing the stigma. The message we are sharing is this: Right now we need solidarity and empathy for all those infected by the virus. Act responsibly, respecting the public health guidelines, to avoid further spread.
As we continue to fight COVID-19 in Haiti, we are thinking of all of you. This virus knows no borders. We hope you and your family stay well and hopeful in these challenging times.