As of March 30th, there are 15 confirmed cases in the country. With the closing of borders, schools, and markets, Haitians are scrambling for limited supplies. The majority of the population lives day-by-day. A country still deep in an ongoing socioeconomic crisis, the compounding effects of the shuttering of the state in response to Coronavirus is devastating for families and communities.
Staff at Espwa continue to monitor government updates on Coronavirus cases as they build and implement responses to the state of emergency in Haiti.
We are all making adjustments to our daily activities in our respective communities around the world, but there is no way to completely escape the risk of exposure. The same is in Haiti but Espwa is taking every measure to reduce the risks of exposure for the children, staff, and families.
Measures implemented at Espwa this week:
· At-home education packets for students
School principals are coordinating with teachers remotely for the preparation of weekly lessons and homework packages for students so they can continue their studies from home. Parents will be given a specific day and time to come pick up the packets at the campus gate to assure social distancing Many students in our high school will have access to video lessons through a popular texting app called WhatsApp.
· Limiting access to the Espwa campus
In an effort to practice social distancing, access to the Espwa campus is being limited for employees. Our staff is creatively working to continue the care, support, and security for the children on campus and families in our programs.
· Nurses are stationed at main campus entrances
Nurses are stationed at main entrances to check temperatures and symptoms of employees as they enter, and of parents during their assigned pick-up times of weekly school activity packets. They are monitoring all precautions taken on campus and are also assisting social workers as they counsel families.
· Weekly phone calls with families in our programs
Social workers will be reaching out to families in our Family Preservation Program by phone on a weekly basis to check in on their physical and emotional health.
· Weekly training visits
Our Child Development Manager, along with a small team of trained workers, will be visiting vulnerable families that received education support in the community to provide training and support on a weekly basis.
These new measures are being taken with the security and wellbeing of our staff, the children, and their families in mind. This remains our highest priority.
Our resources and capabilities for support within communities are very limited. Because of this, we are required to prioritize service to several key groups. These include:
Families with children in our Crisis Care Program (residency at Espwa)
Families in the Family Preservation Program
Dependent families in our Education Programs
With your support many more children, families, and communities could receive much-needed help. Please consider making a sacrificial gift to Coronavirus Response to protect more children and families!
Officials at the U.N. say a Coronavirus outbreak in Haiti would cripple an already weak health system. Hospitals that already lacked equipment and the ability to provide care have been forced by the ongoing socioeconomic crisis to reduce their activities due to shortages of medical supplies, oxygen, and fuel. They have not yet regained full functionality.
Paul Farmer talks about the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic in poor countries. Read his interview with NPR here.
Haiti is on the edge of a major public health disaster.
Make a sacrificial gift to Coronavirus Response
and give our neighbors a chance to survive.
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