COVID-19

Coronavirus Outbreaks at Border Put Haitian Migrants at Risk

  • Posted on: 18 June 2020
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haitians have long worked in the Dominican Republic due to the lack of opportunities at home.  With the Dominican economy contracting due to the pandemic, many Haitian migrants are returning home.  The World Health Organisation's western hemisphere branch (Pan American Health Organisation) has established screening and quarantine centers at border crossings in the region but with 269 informal crossing points and only four formal crossing points ensuring the health needs of returning migrants is a daunting task - especially when they fear their own communities may stigmatise them.  The full article by New York Time journalist David Waldstein follows. 

 

We Should Give Haiti Compassion, Not Sick People

  • Posted on: 23 May 2020
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Most U.S administrations have been ambivalent or hostile to Haiti.  Even the administrations that have ostensibly wanted to help it have at times done tremendous harm.  The Trump Administration is amongst those that are hostile to Haiti - too black, too poor, no money to be made there.  Not only is the United States deporting Haitians, including those with COVID-19, it is preparing to send back former death squad leader Emmanuel "Toto" Constant.  He is truly a man who belongs behind bars, either American or Haitian, but now is not the time to further destabilise Haiti with his presence.   The Washington Post Editorial Board calls for a compassionate approach - which will not happen unless the electorate in key states like Florida demand it.  

Prayer and Preparation: How One Haiti Hospital is Confronting COVID-19

  • Posted on: 20 May 2020
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is an article by Miami Herald journalist Jacqueline Charles about Haiti's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the University Hospital of Mirebalais which plays a central role in it.  The University Hospital is one of the few hospitals with the capacity to stabilise patients with COVID-19 and to provide these services free of charge.  The Hospital staff are preparing for a potential surge in cases which could be caused by Haitians returning from the Dominican Republic due to lost livelihoods, the near impossibility of social distancing, and a health care system that was fragile even prior to the pandemic.  If you are looking for a way to help Haiti as it responds to the pandemic, consider a donation to Partners in Health which manages the University Hospital and remains the largest non-profit health care provider in the country.  

Edwidge Danticat: U.S. Deportations to Haiti during Coronavirus Pandemic are Unconscionable

  • Posted on: 11 May 2020
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Repected Haitian-American author Edwidge Dandicat writes in the Miami Herald op-ed below that the United States is endangering Haitians and communities in Haiti by deporting them regardless of their health status.  More than 100 Immigrants’ rights organizations, faith-based groups, academic institutions across the United States and Haiti, have sent a letter to the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, urging them to stop the deportations and find community-based alternatives to detention that will prevent the spread of COVID-19.  For members of the Haitian Diaspora and friends of Haiti, now is the time to contact your representatives and senators.  Haiti's political and health care systems are much too fragile right now to deal with a major epidemic.  The end result is that people will lose their lives.