NPH Dominican Republic: We'll Get Through This Together

Homework serves as a welcome distraction as children and staff witness the increasing spread of COVID-19 across Dominican Republic and the globe.
April 1, 2020 - Dominican Republic

Students do their homework with help from a caregiver.
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Since the first case of COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic was detected 1 March, NPH Dominican Republic has been quick to implement precautionary measures and prepare the children to help prevent an outbreak inside the home.

These measures included tutorials from NPH doctors ranging from raising awareness to handwashing, as well as talks about the impact of the pandemic. Caregivers constantly remind children to wash their hands and the children find different ways to greet one another without shaking or touching hands. Old habits die slowly, but the children are adapting fast.

The children at NPH Dominican Republic have been doing their best to remain proactive and healthy. During this period, they do homework and reading assignments and do fun activities. The home has a psychologist who has stayed with us to collaborate and support the staff and children during these difficult times.

NPH Dominican Republic also counts on hermanos mayores (older brothers and sisters) to assist caregivers with the care of the children and work in the kitchen. Since most of the staff has been sent home, the support of hermanos mayores helps to reduce the number of people entering and leaving the home, thus reducing risk of exposure for children and staff.

Our Children are very aware of the impact of COVID-19 around the world. Many of them ask if their godparents and donors, fundraisers, and volunteers are okay. Ingrid, a 14-year-old who lives at Casa Santa Ana, was particularly alarmed by the high number of cases in North America and Europe. She was eager to send a message of hope, saying, “I am sad to hear that many people are suffering around the world. We have received many visits and I have made many friends. I love you all.

"We will get through this together. I hope to see you soon.”

Cases in Dominican Republic

According to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, there are 1,284 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the country as of 1 April and 57 attributed deaths, including renowned fashion designer, Jenny Polanco, who died 24 March at age 61. Being the first Dominican public figure to succumb to the illness, her death was both a shock and a call-to-action for the average citizen to take the pandemic and recommended preventive measures more seriously.

Public Health Minister Dr. Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas holds daily press conferences to keep the country updated on the spread of COVID-19 and actions taken at the federal level to protect the population. In the meanwhile, President Danilo Medina has extended until 3 April the nationwide nightly curfew (5:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) after days of arrests of people refusing to obey existing mandates.

Please support our NPH homes during this time of need. Any help you can give is well received and accepted graciously. Please visit nph.org for more information.

Names have been changed to protect individuals’ privacy.

Alba Pérez   
Communications Officer, NPH Dominican Republic

 

 

 

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