The measures put in place in Haiti to stem the spread of COVID-19 seem to be effective at the moment (as of August 7th, there were 7,544 recorded cases and 171 deaths), but the country’s sanitation systems remain extremely weak. There is little infrastructure for proper sanitation and those that exist are not well-equipped. Even under normal circumstances, the systems in place aren’t sufficient to respond to the needs of the population. As such, natiowide actions are needed to raise awareness, mobilize people, put in place preventative measures and ensure medical care.
Development and Peace has contributed $50,000 to its partner Caritas Haiti so that it can support the Haitian state’s provision of healthcare services. Thanks to its well-developed network of parish committees, Caritas Haiti can accompany rural and isolated communities in their fight against the pandemic. Specifically, the project aims to reinforce the capacity of communities and Caritas healthcare professionals in identifying and isolating possible cases, in following the evolution of the pandemic and proposing ways to curb it from spreading and to raise awareness on prevention in communities.
Efforts will be mainly focused on reaching and protecting the poorest and most marginalized communities, such as families already involved in development projects, those who are incarcerated and women. Over 48,500 Haitians will benefit from the project, including 7,500 families who will receive hygiene and prevention kits. Particular attention will be given to raising awareness amongst women at high risk of contracting the virus, such as those known as “Madan Sara,” who work daily selling produce and other wares in the markets.