SEPTEMBER 11, 2021:  

Health Update

In the past 3 weeks, GAHDA has put together 17 clinic kits with gifts of medical supplies and travel support from Cross Catholic Outreach, Project Medishare, David Murphy (parish twinning program) and Agape Flights. Some of the clinics will be occurring in the next week or two but the supplies have been distributed to the managing MDs so we have storage room for food, tarps, blankets and other supplies.

 

Most of the teams are local doctors and nurses who are volunteering their time. Collaborating lead physicians and the number of clinics/services they are providing are:

  • Dr. Douge, who is also GAHDA’s medical advisor: 4 mobile clinics

  • Dr. Raphael: 2 clinics

  • Dr. Fremon, who is also the prison doctor: 3 clinics

  • Dr. Casimir, Anse d’Hanault Hospital surgical unit: ongoing interventions

  • Dr. Doulos, Brigade Intervention Medicale: 3 clinics

  • Dr. Charles and Fr. Maxime: 5 clinics

  • Medical team from Ouanaminthe: 2 clinics

  • Fr. Bazile, Pointe Sable on the island of Grand Cayemite clinic: ongoing support

 

The total number of clinics is 20+ and patients treated so far is 3435.   Referrals have been made for end stage breast cancer, pediatric orthopedic conditions, infected wounds, and other health problems.

Dr. Bette Gebrian, Executive Director, and the GAHDA Team

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Patients waiting in Grand Vincent, Roseaux County for the mobile clinic 

Chambellan mobile clinic pharmacy

Post earthquake care, Brigade Intervention Medicale Clinic

Rural mobile clinic in a church

Patients waiting in Grand Vincent in Roseaux County for the mobile clinic to start Sept 20
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SEPTEMBER 6, 2021:  

It has been a busy week in Jérémie as we get more information about the extent of the damage in rural areas and work with others to get needed supplies, medications and other supports out to the mountains.

Health Care:

  • The Cross Catholic Outreach shipment arrived via a Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) flight at a reduced rate. We unloaded in the rain at the airport and then sorted the next couple of days for distribution for surgical and medical allotments.

  • The clinic in Chambellan received several boxes of medical supplies, IV solution, wound care materials, antibiotics, routine medicines, pediatric and maternity medicine. Rural outreach is planned by Dr. Fremon for Boucan and other rural villages across the river.

  • There is still great need for first aid and medical supplies because of all the injuries and the damage to rural clinics. We are working with Project Medishare to bring in more supplies.  Another load of cargo is to be delivered by Mission Aviation Fellowship September 6th.

  • We have provided food, transport and medical supplies to several remote rural clinics, including Poussline in Fond Cochon which experienced a lot of destruction, a rural area called Bazo outside of Leon, and Sassier.

  • GAHDA also provided bus transportation for 18 adults and children who had been medically evacuated to Port au Prince for further care. It seems that those in charge of relief didn’t consider how to get them back again!

 Water:

  • GAHDA worked with TEK4KIDS to bring purified water to 14 stations in St. Antoine Hospital twice a day.

  • We also are working with Jennifer Law and teen volunteers from Hopestart International to examine the effectiveness of clearing sediment from water using moringa seeds. More about this in the next post.

  • GAHDA continues to provide water to the prison, where there are 450 incarcerated persons. We are working with the prison chaplain to provide a hot meal to all prisoners next week. The Chaplain will work with cooks to prepare the food and bring it to the prison for distribution.

Churches:

  • Our relationships with the archdiocese and the protestant pastors have helped us assess damage in remote areas.

    • The diocese provided us with a list with the earthquake damage to churches, clinics, schools, rectories and surrounding homes.

  • Jocelyn and Ti Louis, GAHDA outreach staff, were able to contact 48 of the 73 active volunteers in the church database

    • All were safe except our volunteer in Torbeck. He and two of his children were injured but not badly.

    • Two volunteers lost their homes (in Beaumont and Milfort).

    • Five health centers were reported severely damaged (Moron, Chambellan, Desormeaux, Numero2 and Abricots).

  • A meeting of all church volunteers is planned for September 11. Packets of first aid materials, aqua tabs, masks, Tylenol, hand gel, and Covid and breast cancer education will be distributed. We will also replace blood pressure cuffs and mirrors that were damaged. 

 

Breast Cancer:

Ongoing care for women in treatment for breast cancer continues. Two new cases have been identified in the past week. More about these women to come.

Dr. Bette Gebrian, Executive Director, and the GAHDA Team

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Tek4Kids and GAHDA collaboration for water to the hospital

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Covid and breast cancer education materials for church volunteers

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Transporting unloaded goods across the Grand’Anse River bridge to be reloaded in another truck

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GAHDA staff members Ti Louis and Jocelyn contacting church volunteers for updates and assessment

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Unloading truck for transport across damaged Grand’Anse bridge

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Preparing first aid supplies for church volunteer distribution to those injured in the earthquake 

August 24, 2021:  

The amazing offers of help continue to come.  I am so grateful for all of the individuals and organizations who are supporting relief efforts in the Grand’Anse.  This will be a brief update because there are so many things going on and I am part of several coordinating and assessment teams. 

We learned over the weekend that the Ginode River which runs through Latiboliere has been blocked by the collapse of one of the mountains.  This has created a lake which is inundating the surrounding farm land causing loss of crops and further endangering houses.  Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much that can be done because it is impossible to get heavy equipment up in the mountains to remove the barriers.

The aftershocks are not over, another one occurred early Sunday.  Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders are performing surgeries at St. Antoine Hospital.  Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health have sent teams to assess and plan work in the rural areas with their local partners.  Medicine and surgical supplies continue to come in.  We are expecting a large shipment from Cross Catholic Outreach partially by plane and the rest by bus tomorrow and Thursday. Land arrivals are complicated by the loss of the bridge into town, so materials have to be offloaded and hand/moto carried across the bridge to be uploaded on Jérémie side.  This is pretty labor intensive.  

A tremendous resource has been developed by the Archdiocese of Jérémie.  It lists all 61 churches in the Grand’Anse and describes damage to churches, schools, health centers, rectories and homes.  This well be very helpful to prioritizing both relief and recovery needs. We continue to work with other organizations to find ways to provide clean water to affected communities.  We are trying some locally available treatment methods along with aqua tabs and mechanical filtration systems.

It is just over a week since the earthquake and the work has just begun.  Thank you for your ongoing support!

Dr. Bette Gebrian, Executive Director, and the GAHDA Team

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Ginode River Grand’Anse         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwTSW0v9xEQ

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Medical Supplies from Cross Catholic waiting for shipment

August 20, 2021:  

We continue to work with many wonderful organizations on the ground in Haiti. HEKS/EPER is undertaking a large medical and relief distribution effort in the rural areas and will help us reach some of these remote areas. A Doctors without Borders (MSF) medical/surgical team just arrived and will be working at St. Antoine Hospital for the next month.  The Ouanaminthe team is staying with Living Stones: Vilaj Ansanm because Place Charmant is full.  They will be delivering care in the mountains. More injured people are arriving from distant areas and many of these will require extensive care and may need to be evacuated.

Cross Catholic Outreach is arriving with a team and supplies (medical, surgical, some tarps and blankets, and rice, beans and oil).  They are shipping everything by bus but due to damage on the bridge into Jérémie, everything will have to be unloaded and hand carried over the bridge—quite an effort!

GAHDA distributed 20 food packages yesterday and another 20 will be delivered to families today, most of these up in Moron.  Each food package provides enough essentials to feed 6 people for almost a month. The good news is that the earthquake did not destroy the local crops so there is still a good food variety available in the markets.  Although there will be a shortage of protein sources.

One of the big problems now is access to clean water...most of the springs have been covered by rock slides and the water in rivers and creeks is very muddy from all the loose dirt and debris.  Fortunately, there has been rain in the mountains so people can collect the rainwater.  But it is not raining right around Jérémie.  We are trying to find good ways to clear the sediment easily so the water can be boiled.

 

Dr. Bette Gebrian, Executive Director, and the GAHDA Team

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GAHDA Food Package Contents

Family Receiving GAHDA Food Package  August 19 2021

August 18, 2021:  

Thank you all for your emails, phone calls, and generous offers of support!  It means so much to the people of the Grand’Anse. I apologize that I cannot respond to each and every one at this time.

 

Yesterday we received 18 hours of rain, fortunately not too heavy but enough to slow down emergency efforts. Rural areas had more rain and hampered the injured from traveling to St. Antoine Hospital. Today, more seriously ill were carried to the hospital and some more evacuated. The US Coast Guard has been a continuous support for the Grand’Anse as well as HERO (Haitian Emergency Response Operations) medical staff.

 

The GAHDA team met today to plan for the next few days. We want to focus on continued locally sourced food distribution, which are the immediate needs. Tarps and water purification tablets are being requested from as many sources as possible. Longer term, we will address rebuilding, but not yet!

 

Cross Catholic Outreach is providing funding for additional surgical supplies and to support a medical and nursing team to travel by truck and foot to one of the hardest hit areas, Fond Cochon. The US Coast Guard made a first helicopter pass over the area and will return today with one of the Haitian physicians.

 

We are working with BIM, the Medical Intervention Brigade, a local team headed by Dr. Dulos who has worked with GAHDA on breast cancer care. He has recently been trained at Partners in Health in Mirebalais in intensive care and is now heading this unit at St. Antoine Hospital. His team of volunteers, 7 doctors and 8 nurses will be walking up to Fond Cochon tomorrow for 3 days. Cross has provided funding for over $4,000 in supplies and medications for them to provide medical and surgical care to this isolated area.

 

A medical surgical team from Ouanaminthe (a town in northern Haiti) will arrive Friday to add more medical and surgical care to support the existing staff. Early on, broken bones were splinted with cardboard and wrapping.

 

We distributed Manna packs (4–5 servings each) of vitamins, rice vegetables, and soy to 20 families of critically ill patients. We did this in collaboration with another local organization, Living Stones: Vilaj Ansanm.

 

We are also working with the Catholic Bishop and the Protestant Pastors’ Association in the Grand’Anse to find out how the churches and their parishioners have been affected as well as to assess local conditions in their area. The churches are our major partners in the Grand’Anse and will help with outreach.


Thank you all for your continued support. 

 

 

 

Dr. Bette Gebrian, Executive Director, and the GAHDA Team

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Cartons of rapid cooking food ("Manna Packages") by Marc Donald Germeil and Dieussa Cherry, from Vilaj Ansamn

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GAHDA Team at work: Jocelyn Boyer, Bette Gebrian, and Leila Casseus (l-r)

Girl with splinted leg fracture at St. Antoine Hospital

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GAHDA team members (l-r): Louis Chenet Bourdeau, Leila Casseus, Jocelyn Boyer, and Antoine Appolon

August 16, 2021:  

The devastation of the earthquake continues to be revealed.  

 

It is hard to get direct access because many of the roads are blocked by falling rocks and buildings.  People are still sleeping outside.  The heat and humidity have added to the challenge.  We are grateful to report that the GAHDA team is healthy and at work.

 

Yesterday I was able to take some supplies to the Hospital St. Antoine (the main hospital for the Grand’Anse Department of 500,000 people). All of the local doctors and nurses are there volunteering to take care of the injured. The ER outside triage tent is now full with children, young men and women.  Because many areas cannot be reached due to road blockages, a few local medical teams are forming to go out into the mountains to treat the wounded and we are helping support this effort.  The most serious injuries are being evacuated by helicopter to Port au Prince for needed care.  

 

The GAHDA clinic building is okay, and our team will be meeting there tomorrow. We are waiting until Tropical Storm Grace has passed as there may be further needs to address.  Right now, we are contacting people in more remote areas to identify needs.  Many of the rural clinics have been destroyed, further limiting options for care. We are working to obtain more medical supplies.  Other needs are tarps for people to sleep under and use for damaged homes.  With up to 15 inches of rain expected from Grace, further damage to people and homes can be expected. In addition to tarps, we are asking for support for rebuilding.

 

Food was already hard to obtain because of the political situation, it will become an even greater need in the coming days.  We are distributing food packs by motorcycles to families. These are items that can be purchased locally ($70 per family) including oil, rice and beans, canned fish, spices, locally grown leeks, cornmeal, tomato paste, spaghetti, dried fish, flour, sugar, matches, salt, bread.

 

We will try to update our website frequently as we have more news. Please see some photos taken over the past 2 days, below.  Tomorrow we will tell you about some of the surgical supplies we have been able to contribute to the hospital.


Thank you all for your support at this difficult time. 

 

 

 

Dr. Bette Gebrian, Executive Director, and the GAHDA Team

                     Click here to see Bette's interview with a surviving family at St. Antoine Hospital.

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Road blocked from landslide, outside of Jérémie.

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Makeshift ward at St. Antoine hospital, Jérémie.

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US Coast Guard evacuation from Jérémie to Port au Prince.

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Residents sleeping on the street in Jérémie, August 15, 2021

August 14, 2021:  

1 PM EDT: 

Please note that all information here is PRELIMINARY and is subject to change.

 

First reports from Jérémie are that our Executive Director, Bette Gebrian, her husband, and our friends at Place Charmant were physically unharmed by the earthquake, although their compound did sustain substantial glass breakage.

The news from downtown Jérémie is not as favorable. Photos show major damage to the town cathedral (the same building that had its entire roof blown off in Hurricane Matthew in 2016). Also, a number of photos show extensive damage to brick buildings and other complexes in the downtown area.

Bette reports that administrators of Hospital St. Antoine (the government hospital in Jérémie) have indicated that medical personnel have converged on the grounds of the hospital, which has sustained some but not extensive damage. Although there is disorder in the town, an outdoor triage center has been set up at the hospital and most doctors and nurses have shown up to assist.

Bette also reports that by late this morning GAHDA had already supplied the hospital with some of the medical supplies needed for the initial emergency response – with many supplies just purchased and shipped from the mainland – including sterile and unsterile gauze packages, tape, asthma meds, Tylenol, Motrin, surgical gloves, and needles and syringes. It is for this very reason that GAHDA uses part of your contributions to stockpile emergency supplies!

Many of the older homes on the main streets of downtown have collapsed, and initial reports are that there are some who have died under cement slabs, according to some at the hospital. 

We will try to keep this page updated as further information becomes available.

 

If you would like to donate to help support our relief efforts, please click on the donate button, above. 

 

Thank you.