As COVID-19 rapidly spreads around the globe, you might be wondering – has it reached Haiti? Thankfully, there have been no confirmed cases yet. But there have been cases just across the border in the Dominican Republican. On Wednesday, the WHO declared a global pandemic.
At HAS, we are beginning to mobilize our staff and our communities to prepare for the worst.
We have a multi-phase plan in place to train our staff in prevention of the disease, beginning with our head nurses, then our providers and community health agents. At each of our four health centers, our Integrated Community Health Services team plans to hold focus groups with key community leaders to engage them in education and preparedness activities. We employed a similar strategy with other outbreaks, most recently Zika, and saw great success.
HAS will coordinate with other health organizations in Haiti and with the Ministry of Health to build a unified front against this virus.
Haiti and other low resource countries are particularly vulnerable to this pandemic. Dr. Pierre, director of our integrated community health services and an epidemiologist, says he fears it will be a catastrophe if this coronavirus reaches Haiti. Currently, there is only one lab in Port-au-Prince verified to test for the disease.
We will do everything we can to keep our staff and patients healthy and safe. Right now we are in need of supplies such as gloves, masks, and soap to protect our staff and our patients.