Earlier this month, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Haiti, and much of the country has been paralyzed by the widespread demonstrations. Movement within the country is limited, resulting in dwindling supplies of food, potable water, and fuel.
Direct Relief staff in Haiti are in close communication with health providers throughout the country, many of which have had to shelter in place. Some healthcare partners have evacuated their staff via helicopter to the Port-au-Prince airport due to an inability to get past road blockades. While several healthcare facilities report a temporary decrease in patient visits, larger than normal patient numbers are expected once the protests subside.
Just days before last week’s eruption of violence, a Direct Relief shipment of 11 pallets of medicine, valued at $2.2 million, was delivered to the Direct Relief warehouse in Haiti. In-country staff were able to distribute the essential medicines to healthcare facilities in Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, and Fond-des-blanc.
Four pallets of medicine remain at Direct Relief’s warehouse, ready to distribute to in-country partners once the situation improves.
Since the protests, two shipments arrived in Port-au-Prince for St. Damien Pediatric Hospital and St. Luke Family Hospital. The shipments consist of 11 pallets of antibiotics, blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, suture, hospital supplies, and personal care items.
Direct Relief sent an additional air-freight shipment of essential medicine that arrived in Port-au-Prince Monday. This shipment consists of eight pallets of medicine, IV fluids, and vitamins, and will be distributed to five in-country partners and their recipient healthcare facilities across the country.
Two additional drop-shipment purchases of HIV test kits and pregnancy test kits for Project Medishare have been booked for arrival later this month.
Since the first wave of protests erupted in July 2018, Direct Relief has supplied over $10 million in medical resources to health facilities in Haiti.
Direct Relief has a long history of responding to emergencies in the country, including the devastating earthquake in 2010, the cholera outbreak that followed, and Hurricane Matthew, which slammed the southern peninsula in 2016.
Since 2008, Direct Relief has provided nearly $345 million in donations of medicine and supplies to public and private healthcare facilities throughout Haiti for emergency response, maternal and child health, and general health system strengthening efforts.