Rapid Support to the COVID-19 Response in Haiti
With support from USAID and its Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, MSH is leading the Rapid Support to the COVID-19 Response in Haiti project. Over a six-month period, MSH will build urgently needed pandemic response capacity at a network of 40 facilities across all 10 of Haiti’s departments. This support will reach nearly 800,000 people, with a focus on the epicenter Ouest Department, which includes Port-au-Prince and key border areas.
Haiti’s health system has a very limited capacity to respond to the illness, hospitalizations, and deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A severe health worker shortage is exacerbated by high numbers who are in quarantine following unprotected exposure to the virus. Limited knowledge of proper infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures and limited access to clean water, disinfectant soap, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are also hampering the response. Physical distancing is often impractical due to crowded living conditions and subsistence livelihoods.
Building on 40 years of work in the country and existing staff on the ground, MSH will collaborate with the National Multisectorial Commission (CMGP), the Ministry of Health, and other partners to improve IPC capacity and risk communication and community engagement for COVID-19. Our technical assistance will begin with prevention and response strategies recommended by WHO, CDC, and other agencies, in line with the country’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, and will include e-learning that draws on culturally adapted materials in French produced by the USAID MTaPS program.
In providing emergency support in response to urgent humanitarian needs, MSH will stand by our commitment to health systems strengthening, ensuring that this project develops sustainable systems capacities and facilitates a smooth transition between the humanitarian response and development assistance for health once the COVID-19 pandemic stabilizes.