Haiti – a country already facing widespread poverty, political instability, weak infrastructure and extreme vulnerability to natural disasters – was ill-equipped to deal with the outbreak of yet another deadly disease. A deadly cholera epidemic following the 2010 earthquake led to the death of nearly 10,000 people. Haiti started 2020 by finally having reached a milestone of one full year free from any new cases of the deadly waterborne disease, just as COVID-19 was starting to spread globally.
With 35 percent of Haitians lacking basic drinking water services and two-thirds with limited or no sanitation services, CMF is working with partners to strengthen the health system’s ability to adapt and respond to COVID-19.
We are pleased to announce our partnership with Partners In Health Canada (PIHC) at the University Hospital of Mirebalais. CMF and PIHC will be supporting the hospital through the construction of up to 15 permanent handwashing stations and 15 toilets in areas where COVID-19 patients are treated in order to reduce the transmission of the virus. Improved sanitation facilities in these areas will create a healthier hospital environment and reduced risk of COVID-19 transmission for both staff and patients.
University Hospital of Mirebalais (HUM) in the Central Plateau, Haiti is one of the main COVID-19 treatment centers and referral hospitals in the country and is currently the largest teaching hospital in Haiti.
Research shows that well-positioned, easily accessible hand washing stations increase good hand hygiene practices and reduce healthcare-acquired infections (HAI). In addition, by increasing the number of toilets for patients and staff in COVID-19 areas of the hospital, there will be less wait time for individuals in the COVID-19 units. The improvements will also ensure that handwashing stations and toilets are still available when facilities are being cleaned and disinfected.
During this pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe. Working together as a global community, we can stop the spread of COVID-19.