The beauty of Borgne is matched only by the resilience of the people who call it home.
Our hospital and health system remains one of a small group of facilities in the country that remains open and continues to serve people every day, 24 hours per day. To our knowledge, we are now the only fully functioning health facility in the north of Haiti. As a result, we are starting to see people from neighboring communes and from as far away as Cap Haitien seeking health care in Borgne. Cholera has returned in many areas across the country and will worsen with the rainy season. Inflation is eroding the economic well-being of people who are already desperately poor. These are challenging times in Haiti, but we are inspired by our colleagues in Borgne, who continue to work hard despite corruption, inflation, crime, and their day-to-day personal struggle to sustain their families.
There are nights, the rare nights when the internet is working at the hospital in Borgne, when we can connect with Doctor Thony and exchange text messages on the work of the day. We look forward to these moments, these brief opportunities to get perspective and inspiration from our dear friend. They have become less frequent over the past 3 months, because there are fewer days where he has an internet connection. On the days we don’t connect we admit to worrying about him and all our friends in Borgne. During one of our most recent exchanges we asked him what he would want people in the U.S. to know about the current situation in Haiti. This is what he said:
“Let them know that life is very precarious in Haiti right now. Nothing that is operated by the government is functioning. Schools are not operating, government hospitals and clinics are closed, and basic services are not available. Markets are open but there is little in them and it is very challenging for the vendors. We are experiencing a kind of common insanity. We wake up every morning uncertain if we will survive and yet we try to do what is in front of us. Let them know that the H.O.P.E. hospital (ASB) is the only clinic in the north that is open and operating because, even though we too are struggling, no one should suffer the loss of a child or family member due to the government closing their local hospital or clinic. We will continue to do the work. ”
Doctor Thony’s words are poignant, painful and they sadly characterize the truth of what has happened across Haiti over the past several months. The situation in Haiti is in many ways the most dire it has been in several decades. Fuel prices have skyrocketed, by some estimates they have increased ten times. Gangs control the fuel supplies across the country and use it for leverage to secure their position and power. Gasoline has become currency and getting it has become increasingly dangerous. The prices of basic food items and necessities have soared. The cost of hospital supplies and medicines have risen to unprecedented levels.
In this context, the work done in Borgne during the third quarter of 2022 is truly extraordinary. Despite the challenges, we continue to deliver mobile clinics, mobile health screenings, and provide daily clinical services at both the hospital in Borgne and the clinic in Tibouk. We have continued to implement our grant from the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation in support of orphaned and vulnerable children. Our S.E.E. team, is conducting training and education programs across the commune in an effort to prevent cholera