Director’s Blog: Living in Unprecedented Times

October 31, 2021

“I love my country and I am proud of my country. I care about peace and especially peace for my country,” said Josaime Clotilde St Jean. “We, the Haitian people, need to sit together to work through everything. It should be a family-style meeting. When problems arise in a family, everyone puts differences aside and comes together to discuss. We need to make that happen for our country now,” she added enthusiastically.

Josaime Clotilde St Jean has been our Community Health Program Manager in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, for the past 10 years. We recently discussed the current situation in Cap-Haitien, and overall in the country.

According to Ms. St Jean this is the first time the country has seen this level of turmoil. She is talking about the nation-wide fuel shortage and how it has affected every citizen in the country and their ability to move around.

Haiti has been through a lot this year. In July, the country’s president was assassinated. In August, the country dealt with an earthquake that caused over 2000 deaths. The people of Haiti have had increased security concerns as well. Since the beginning of October, the country is suffering from a widespread shortage of fuel, which has affected its public transportation system and operations everywhere, including at our partner hospitals.

In fact, for three days in October, there was a nation-wide protest to urge the government to address the issues. “There are so many uncertainties and we have to manage them,” said Ms. St Jean in a solemn tone. According to her, there is no consensus in the government on how they will resolve this situation and there is a lack of urgency to take responsibility.

Since the fuel shortage issues have spread throughout the country, we, at Konbit Sante, have continuously kept in contact with our healthcare partners in Cap-Haitien, namely Unite de Lutte pour la Sante Health Center, Fort Saint Michel Health Center, Justinien University Hospital, and Haitian Baptist Convention Hospital. The lack of fuel has affected their operations. For a brief period of time, some of their services were impacted and not fully functional. It also affected their employees who weren’t easily able to come to work, and patients who weren’t able to access healthcare services. According to our partners on the ground, the lack of fuel has led to a general shortage of essential medical supplies as transportation is limited.

Currently, our partners are operating to the best of their ability. We are working with them to determine ways to support their fuel needs. We have reached out to organizations that may be able to help these healthcare facilities and we are actively looking for ways to fund their needs.

As Ms. St Jean stated, we have to lead by example. As a Konbit Sante staff member, she continues to work closely with the team at Fort Saint Michel Health Center. Our entire team at Konbit Sante is also focused on doing the same with our partner facilities.

In the days and weeks to come, we will continue to work collaboratively. Until then, we value your generous support and thank you for it. We hope you’ll continue to send all your positive thoughts and energy to the people of Haiti.

Subscribe to the Konbit Sante Newsletter