Haiti (MNN) — COVID-19 cases increase in Haiti, but the impoverished country can only do so much to stop the spread.
Eva DeHart of For Haiti With Love says Haiti just now faces a steeper curve of COVID-19, while many other countries see theirs flatten. As of Tuesday, Haiti had 533 cases and 21 deaths, though case numbers have spiked in recent days.
Haiti can’t feasibly replicate the lockdowns used in other countries. “When you’re living hand to mouth, you cannot just go in your house and shut the door. They would rather take their chances with the virus than knowingly starve themselves and their children.”
To make matters worse, DeHart says many hospitals in the country have closed or are considering it. “They don’t have the screening ability to make sure they’re not letting the virus into the hospital. They feel like they would be doing more damage to the people who are sick from other things. So they’re just closing them.” Read about one Haitian hospital still open here.
Instead, Haiti has tried to contain the virus by limiting the movement of people from one part of the country to another. DeHart says, “If you’ve got it, stay in your own village, fight it with your neighbors, but don’t spread it. It is a primitive approach perhaps, but our sophisticated approaches haven’t worked so well either.”
We reported that For Haiti With Love’s burn clinic received a large shipment of supplies before the coronavirus hit Haiti, and DeHart says they are still working with these materials. Haitians know only to come to the clinic if they have burns.
Being the light of Christ
DeHart says For Haiti With Love shows Christ’s love through consistency. Many missionaries, she says, leave Haiti whenever things get bad. “There are still those who are trying to get out, and the majority of them are already gone.”
DeHart doesn’t know if any of these missionaries will continue their ministries after COVID-19. But when it comes to For Haiti With Love, “We have not changed one iota in our approach to helping the Haitians. We have the support in place by the grace of God. And everybody coming to the clinic is being treated. We just need to really pray for the country.”
DeHart asks Christians to pray that Haiti does not see an accelerating COVID-19 outbreak and that the light of Christ will shine on the country.
Header photo courtesy of David Mark via Pixabay.