Message from Fr. Rick Frechette, Friend of St. Louis

February 15, 2019   
This just in from Dr. Jacqueline Gautier, medical director St. Damien Pediatric Hospital:

Due to heavy rioting and protests, Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas that include St. Damien Pediatric Hospital have been on lockdown since February 7, 2019. Since then, St. Damien has been functioning on emergency mode, with the managing staff being present at all times to coordinate activities and maintain the hospital open and functioning 24/7.

St. Damien continues to provide high-quality care to all children in need and women in labor. We have removed admission criteria due to the impossibility of referring women in labor elsewhere. We continued to provide chronically ill children with life-saving care, including medication, and meals.

We are also providing transportation via ambulances for all employees, most of whom have graciously accepted to work 24-hour straight shifts in order to minimize movement and traffic.

Photo taken by Denso Gay, NPH Haiti Communication Officer, on his walk to work on February 15, 2019

As a result of these emergency measures, our fuel reserves are dangerously diminishing, which will inevitably lead to power shortages and difficulties with transportation.

St. Damien is accruing additional expenses for meals for all employees and even for certain patients’ family members, housing for employees who are obligated to remain in the hospital until the following morning in order to reduce the frequency of transportation and maximize safety and the significant increase in fuel consumption.

St. Damien’s maternity ward is full - photo by Denso Gay

In regards to all the tremendous challenges that we are currently facing, we are kindly asking for your generous donations in order to remain open and continue providing care to this population in distress.

For the latest updates, please check our Facebook page and website.

With gratitude,

Jennifer Rayno
Director, St. Damien Pediatric Hospital Fund