Haiti registered its first cases of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in mid-March, and the number of cases continue to rise. The neighboring Dominican Republic has had thousands more confirmed cases, and the border between the two nations that share the island of Hispaniola has been closed to help control the spread. All airports and ports were closed to passenger flights and cruise ships, while much needed cargo is allowed. Soaring is grateful to have been able to rely on Missionary Flights International to get necessary supplies into the country.
The pandemic prognosis is not positive for Haiti where healthcare, medical systems, the economy, national and personal resources, and daily circumstances make it extremely challenging to handle. Haiti, declaring a state of emergency in March, shut down schools, markets, and businesses, and restricted gatherings. This government order was extended through the end of July. Because of travel and health issues in both Haiti and the U.S., I have been in North Carolina, staying in close communication with our Soaring Haitian staff on-the-ground in-country.
Our major concerns in Haiti right now are protecting our staff, operating a medical clinic, and adjusting our other programs and services in response to the pandemic. As always at Soaring, we place the health and safety of our staff, their families, and our associates as our highest priority. We have been doing everything we can to ensure they have everything needed to protect themselves and the people they serve, while they continue to carry out our medical mission to the Haitian people.
The focus of our response, as it was last fall during the political unrest, is to empower our outstanding Soaring Staff in Haiti who are best able to evaluate and navigate their physical and cultural scenarios. In consultation with Soaring Board leaders and medical professionals, we are acquiring and shipping items needed for our programs and services. These essentials include personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies for the Covid-19 hygiene and sanitation protocols, and medications. We are working closely with partners in the local medical community through the Haitian Health Ministry and Cap Haitien Health Network to ensure proper hygiene and medical protocols are communicated and followed.
On behalf of the Soaring Board & Staff, we are thankful for ongoing prayers and support, while we work together to identify and respond to the needs of the community in which we serve.
– Pastor Laura