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Though we have not updated for some time, we have been doing our best on the ground in Jeremie to help as many families as we can.
[Latest Update: December 13, 2022]
Since July 2021, when president Jovenel Moise was assassinated, the country has been in a downward spiral. In all these years since I moved to Haiti in 1987, I have never witnessed widespread hunger like this, lack of power, fuel, food and transportation and access to health care. 60% of Port-au-Prince is controlled by scores of gangs. Rape is rampant and kidnapping continues. Gang members demand up to $1000 for vehicles to pass controlled areas. The US Embassy urged people not to come to Haiti, or, to leave a soon as possible. We are grateful to be hours away from unrelenting fear and uncertainty in the capital.
The BBC posted this report earlier this month. (107) Port-au-Prince: Haiti's capital city taken hostage by brutal gangs - BBC News - YouTube
What to do?
We are a small organization but remain a conduit of support from generous donors and partner organizations to continue our mission to “Meet the needs of Grand’Anse individuals and families seeking healthcare and livelihood support not being met by existing services. Contribute to skills development of Haitian health professionals. Provide community education”
We have been on the ground for hurricanes (category 5 Hurricane Matthew), earthquakes (2010 and August 2021 in our area, cholera (2010 and now again) and other infectious diseases, political unrest and …. We have nurtured trust and community networks that reach all corners of this region of 500,000 people.
Haitian health providers and religious leaders are engaged to teach people about breast cancer. Since July, we have established a diagnostic service site for people with breast problems. We are all grateful for pathology services not otherwise available. All this with the support of materials, medicines, expertise, and funds. Despite the hardships, GAHDA provides care to women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Photo of woman 40 year old cancer survivor
The 7.2 earthquake that struck our area in August 2021 is a disaster we are all still recovering from. Many lost their houses, access to mountain springs, jobs, animals and livelihood. Some people were never found. Urgent medical care in these regions was critical. GAHDA put out the word and many responded immediately to supply needed emergency medicines and wound care supplies.
The political and economic disasters compounded the suffering of families already affected by loss. And it is getting worse.
GAHDA, with the generous donation of many helped us develop a cadre of 5 MD teams that volunteered to travel on foot, by boat, mule, and motorcycle to underserved areas in four counties. They were able to consult over 20,000 people with urgent and chronic conditions. When fuel topped $25/gallon, these efforts stopped. We plan to continue as soon as possible.
Photos of trips by medical team and MD consultation in rural area
People are near starvation and eat what is currently being harvested. GAHDA distributed 18,000 rapid cooking rice/soy packets and locally purchased food to elder headed households
Photo of elder with food
We need your help to continue this work. Please donate through the PayPal link on this website or send a check made to the Grand’Anse Health & Development Association.
Photo of woman with two goats
Despite the risks, five hundred female goats were given to women headed households in 4 counties, most recently, this month. When offspring are ready, one will be shared with another woman in the village.
GAHDA ACTIVITIES DURING THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY
The Grand'Anse Health & Development Association (GAHDA) is responding to the COVID-19 crisis with resourcefulness, determination and fearlessness – as we have done in the past when faced with natural disasters, epidemics and other crises. Our essential activities include:
working with our partners to hire local tradespeople to make face masks for distribution to over 50 clinics, dispensaries, and nurse volunteers
crafting hand sanitizer with aloe plants and locally sourced alcohol
distributing COVID-19 education materials to churches in the Grand’Anse
interviewing church leaders about knowledge, attitudes and activities to prevent COVID-19
The Latest from Jérémie
Measures are being taken to prevent COVID-19 and its spread. Limited testing is available, requiring analysis in Port-au-Prince – but most travel into and out of the Grand’Anse is on hold with closed roads, ports, and airports.
Hospitals in the Grand’Anse have no ICU beds, only 2 ventilators, and little to no PPE – and are sure to be overwhelmed. Schools and churches are closed. Stores and clinics that remain open have installed hand washing stations, and with few resources to stockpile food, people must visit the open air markets daily – making social distancing difficult. In addition, a drought continues, raising concerns about increasing hunger and food insecurity.
Throughout this COVID-19 crisis, however, the GAHDA team continues its community services by:
following up with cancer patients, providing food and medicine and supporting those who need to travel to Port-au-Prince for treatment
registering 1,000 churches for breast cancer awareness and education for future training
engaging young women to create breast self-exam training tools
coordinating the installation of 5 solar suitcases, providing light for remote clinics
employing carpenters to build mirrors for breast cancer training and monitoring
distributing food to the most vulnerable – in particular the elderly.
continuing fundraising efforts for food rations as we prepare for hurricane season that begins in June.
Please help us continue our much-needed services throughout this COVID-19 emergency by donating below.
GAHDA provides essential healthcare and a range of supportive services to the Grand’Anse Community. This remote corner of southwest Haiti struggles to meet the needs of over 400,000 people. At GAHDA, we seek to meet the needs of the people where they are, causing less hardship, financial strain, and disruption to their already challenging day-to-day lives.
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GAHDA believes that healthcare is a human right, one that is often inaccessible to people with extremely limited resources. Access is also compromised by a public health care system that is resource poor.
While Haiti continues to make great strides at harnessing local talent and training medical professionals, there is still a long way to go for the system to meet the needs of all people. We are committed to helping fill that gap while also contributing to strengthening local systems through mentoring, training, tools, and materials.