Haiti is currently bracing for an expected onslaught of Cholera, following the recent devastation of Hurricane Matthew. Approximately 2.1 million people were impacted by the storm, leaving 1.4 million (12% of Haiti’s population) in need of assistance in some capacity. As of October 14, the death toll was at 546 with 128 people missing and 439 injured. The Haitian government estimates nearly $1.89 billion in damages, including primary healthcare infrastructure in the state of Nippes; the country has no resources to rebuild. Project HOPE and Mazzetti/Sextant, at the request of the State Minister of Health, have planned, designed, and are beginning construction on a new cholera treatment facility at Hospital St. Therese, in Miragoane, the capital city of Nippes.
HAITI’S HISTORY WITH CHOLERA
On January 12, 2010, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude hit Haiti. It killed 1⁄4 million people, injured over 300,000 and left 1.6 million people homeless. Far from the epicenter, CRUDEM Foundation’s Hôpital Sacré Coeur survived the earthquake and thousands were flown in by helicopter. When most NGOs, including Project Hope, sent only medical workers, Project HOPE also sent engineers. The goal was to assess the remaining health facilities to best deploy medical professionals with infrastructure that supported these medical missions. Thus was born the Mazzetti/Sextant Foundation and our long-running commitment to improving health facilities in places in the most need. View the video here.
Since returning from our most recent recon trip, We have sent Jeff Rodriguez, friend of Mazzetti’s, Sextant Foundation activist, and former Hospital Facility engineer, back to Nippes (in Haiti) where we will meet with Project HOPE members and local Haitians to start work. Haitians urgently need more cholera treatment accessibility. Through Project HOPE’s coordination with the Haitian government and specifically the Ministry of Health, we have planned, designed, and will construct a cholera treatment center. The center will be located at the St. Therese Hospital in Miragoane, the capital of the state of Nippes. The new facility will include 20 beds and a bioreactor, for hospital waste water treatment, appropriate to the local maintenance abilities. It will be powered by solar panels to eliminate the need for expensive diesel fuel. It will be designed to treat cholera victims, but the Ministry intends to use it beyond any potential cholera outbreak to treat various diarrheal diseases into the future.
Mazzetti/Sextant is sending two more of our people early in the new year to help complete this project. Our volunteers will mostly oversee the work of Haitians who we will pay to perform the bulk of the work, thus providing some level of economic benefit to the people there, as well.