Haiti Health Network (HHN) is an organization that was started only 4 years ago. It was initiated to promote collaboration between all types of organizations providing healthcare in country. Their goals are to improve and expand sustainability of medical operations and organizations, access to care, and communication among members. They have proven to be an invaluable resource, even now, when we are unable to travel. They provide bimonthly zoom meetings for sharing updates, resources, contacts, etc…
The reports are rather negative, but they are real. Many of the members are Haitian healthcare providers still living in country and reporting on the REAL situations in and around their communities. Here were some of the topics discussed at the last meeting:
SUPPLY CHAIN BREAKDOWN: Reports in general from all over the country reiterate the lack of supplies. No one is coming in to help because its simply not safe. There are no short term solutions on the table. The medication shortages seem to be everywhere. A future meeting has been scheduled to discuss possible ways that we can work together to try and get supplies in safely and distributed appropriately.
Whatsapp telemed: Partners in Health (see my last blog regarding Dr. Paul Farmer) is already providing this optionHHN will be looking into this further as a possible option for our US providers to share their skills without risking their lives to fly to Haiti to serve.
From Sud-Est: The road from Jacmel to Thiotte has completely deteriorated over the past year. There is now no public transportation between Jacmel and the far sud-Est.
Nord (north) updates: Some US missionaries recently traveled here and this seemed to go ok. There were several safety protocols in place, but patients were able to be seen. There were still some roadblocks and protesting, but violence was minimal. Fuel shortage is bad here. There is scarce traffic for this reason. Some of the gas has been watered down which caused some problems for the vehicles carrying US missionaries.
Ouest (west) updates: Cite Soleil has been a hot spot for gangs and rising violence. These communes are feeling more and more restrained. They are trying to refocus on safety protocols. This, as a result, has taken focus off healthcare.
So, as you can see, these meetings leave many of us with heavy hearts and feeling very helpless. There is so much that needs done… so many to help…. but no direct/safe way to provide. I am learning that this is when we PRAY…. We pray to the Creator to provide. We pray that He will use us in whatever ways possible for His Will. Whether that’s telehealth, training, fundraising, or simply being an ear to hear what our fellow missionaries in Haiti are saying and reporting, we pray.
So please take a minute today and ask our Heavenly Father to provide medication to those who are sick…. Food to those who are hungry… Clean water to those who are thirsty… Safety to those who are threatened and Faith to all those who are weary.
In Jesus name, AMEN.