Crisis Update: St. Damien Amid Political Unrest
This just in from Dr. Jacqueline Gautier, medical director of St. Damien Pediatric Hospital
February 14, 2019 - Haiti
Due to heavy rioting and protests, Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas that include St. Damien Pediatric Hospital have been on lockdown since February 7. Since then, St. Damien has been functioning in emergency mode, with the managing staff being present at all times to coordinate activities and keep the hospital open and functioning 24/7.
St. Damien continues to provide high quality care to all children in need and women in labor. We have removed admission criteria due to the impossibility of referring women in labor elsewhere. We continued to provide chronically ill children with life-saving care, including medication, and meals.
We are also providing transportation via ambulances for all employees, most of whom have graciously accepted to work 24-hour straight shifts in order to minimize movement and traffic.
As a result of these emergency measures, our fuel reserves are quickly diminishing, which will soon lead to power shortages and difficulties with transportation.
St. Damien is accruing additional expenses for meals for all employees—even for certain patients’ family members—and housing for employees who are obliged to remain in the hospital until the following morning in order to reduce fuel consumption and maximize safety by making fewer daytime trips.
We are facing tremendous challenges. We ask for your generous donations in order to remain open and continue providing care to this population in distress.
Visit www.nphusa.org/stdamien to donate to St. Damien Hospital.
Dr. Jacqueline Gautier
National Director for St. Damien Pediatric Hospital and St. Kay Germaine