HURRICANE MATTHEW UPDATE
In the midst of such terrible destruction and loss of life in the western part of Haiti, our hearts are breaking for this country that continues to suffer unbelievable catastrophes. This latest natural disaster brings back horrible memories of the 2010 earthquake where so many lost their lives and hundreds of thousands of children were orphaned.
Today, we report that FOTCOH has suffered minimal damage at the clinic and our Haitian staff and workers have been spared as well. For this we are grateful.
Water damage inside the clinic, downed trees and washed-out road outside will require much clean-up, which our Haitian Clinic Manager, Boyer, along with other workers, have already begun. We are so thankful that the Cyvadier and Jacmel areas were spared the massive flooding and mudslides that other parts of Haiti are experiencing.
As relief efforts continue and organizations come to the aid of the hardest-hit areas, we continue with our long-term mission of providing medical care and health education at our clinic. We are not a “relief” organization that swoops in with food and water and then leaves when the short-term goals are achieved. We provide sustainable care throughout the year, year after year. And, because of donors and volunteers like you, FOTCOH has been able to help the people of Haiti for the past 31 years.
As we prepare to send our November Team of 20 people to the clinic to begin a two- week medical mission on November 6th, we are faced with the task of anticipating what increased needs there will be due to the hurricane. People will be coming from miles and miles away. Many walk for hours, some for days, to get to the FOTCOH clinic to receive free medical care in the best of times. How far will they travel this time?
We need to be prepared to help them.
Major challenges (over and above the “normal” ones) will be:
- Increased need for replacement medicines lost by our patients in the hurricane. This has the potential to be a large expense for FOTCOH because so many of our patients are given 4 month supplies of diabetic and hypertension meds, in addition to vitamins forall.
- The cholera outbreak will require an increased supply of several items whichwe are purchasing now to be carried in with the NovemberTeam.
- With potential loss of food supplies (many animals and crops were lost) we anticipate an increased number of infants and children who will come to the clinic severely malnourished. To put those who qualify on the MedikaMamba program (nutrient-dense peanut butter medicine) isexpensive.
Thank you to those who have already sent financial help in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. We appreciate it so much! Please know that these funds are going directly to the above mentioned challenges and the beautiful people we serve.
In early November, we will be mailing our Year-End Annual Appeal. Funds raised during this campaign each year support our ongoing mission and allow us to continue the life-saving work we do year after year. These funds also go directly to helping the poor of Haiti and this year will be even more important. We thank you in advance for your ongoing support.
Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Warmest regards,
Shelly Peters Executive Director
FOTCOH ~ Friends of the Children of Haiti 309.369.8118