The Haitian people are resilient, but the worst storm to hit the island nation in 50 years has been hard on its people. In the region of Leogane, the mountain communities were hit the worst.
Our network of community health workers called monitrices have been working to take care of their communities. Because cholera is one of our first concerns, our monitrices have been making sure people have access to clean water and taking the right precautions to prevent this awful disease.
With money invested in CNP since the hurricane, we have been able to distribute WASH kits to many citizens to ensure safe drinking water, and continue educating about proper hygiene.
The more pressing longer-term concern for us is food insecurity. Our monitrices have reported that banana fields have been flattened, livestock gone, and food costs rising due to the lack of availability. Many villages have reported the loss of Kongo bean crops, which were due to be harvested in October and November. These crops are many families’ primary source of food and income.
Both limited food and financial resources can result in the diminution of nutrition status. It can also mean a family doesn’t have enough money to send their children to school or seek medical treatment.
Monitrices are monitoring kids in their areas everyday for any signs of malnutrition, and many have reported a number of children losing weight after the storm. If we find malnourished children, we put them in our rehabilitation program using a therapeutic nutritional supplement made from local peanuts to bring them back to health. We also educate the mother or caregiver about proper nutrition and where she can find and produce proper nutritious food economically.
These are very tough times for the Haitian people.
They are no stranger to catastrophe, but these types of events like Hurricane Matthew put a strain on their resources. CNP has made so much progress since 1998 fighting childhood malnutrition; we are working to ensure the work we have accomplished with your help does set us back in our mission. Because of the food insecurity issue, our monitrices are doubling and tripling their efforts to ensure we are helping raise a healthy generation of Haitian children.