Where is Haiti now?
Weeks after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, many individuals and organizations have come together to assist Haiti in many different ways. Some brought medical supplies, tools and building materials, food, water, and clothing, while others arrived to help out in other ways.
Haiti had limited access to health care, water and sanitation before the hurricane, and significant cases of cholera. Since the disaster, residents are still desperate to find shelter, avoid disease and feed their families. Trucks filled with food and medicines have been arriving in the bigger cities but remote areas remain barely touched, and there is still a great continual need for food. 1
What are the conditions?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the post-disaster that Hurricane Matthew left destroyed all food crops, and 90% of fruit and forest trees. The country of Haiti relies on this production to meet basic needs for food, and livelihood. The agricultural damages were estimated to be 580 million in US dollars. Many of the farmland crops that were destroyed had been planted after the earthquake that shook this nation in 2010. This event has left the country in a major crisis that needs attention and has left many feeling hopeless. 2
Words cannot express the pain, devastation or hopelessness that those in Haiti have experienced and facing. Disasters left behind unsanitary conditions which created an environment for disease and cholera has taken its toll on the residents of Haiti.
What has been done?
According to WHO, over 2 million Haitians were affected by Hurricane Matthew with an estimated 750,000 still in urgent need of humanitarian aid. 3 The water treatment facilities in Sud and GrandAnse were destroyed, and water distribution systems in the main cities of Jeremie, and Les Cayes were nearly collapsed causing the substantial increase in cholera. When water sources have been interrupted, diarrheal diseases, including cholera threaten the population. The World Health Organization released a cholera vaccination campaign on November 6, 2016, to help prevent an increase in the outbreak of cholera in vulnerable areas. 4
How can I help?
There are organizations that provide disaster relief and immediate response to emergency medical needs. Americares is a non-profit global health organization that supports long-term health care initiatives for people in the United States and around the world. Dr. Dave Campbell has been a part of their team providing awareness and support for the residents. 5
If you’re wondering what you do – Haiti can use your help. Go to http://www.americares.org/, if you would like to donate or able to help with relief in Haiti.