Our Homes: NPH Haiti

Haiti COVID-19 Updates

The first documented case of COVID-19 died at St. Damien May 9, 2020. She was a 3-years, 9-month-old girl, born with a heart defect (Tetralogy of Fallot) who presented at the hospital last week. Previously she was receiving care for her heart condition at Mirebalais Hospital in central Haiti. She came with a history of fever and lethargy. On exam she had signs or pulmonary infections with marked cyanosis (part of her heart problem). She then developed neurological signs becoming comatose. She received antibiotics and other drugs for her heart condition. Then she was ventilated by ambu bag. Because the family revealed that many people in the household were coughing, the ICU staff asked for a COVID test. The result came back positive after the girl died.

This case showed the importance to include more children into the surveillance for COVID at St. Damien. With more information shared by the international pediatric community, we started to plan accordingly and are assessing for adjustments. However COVID tests are only done for the moment at the national laboratory, so they are not yet readily available. We are continuing our advocacy for easier access to testing to capture more cases early.

Also the medical staff is keeping abreast of the latest technical information on COVID-19 through webinars and the help of our international pediatric partners. As the pandemic is entering its more active phase in Haiti, we are expecting more cases being presented at St. Damien. During the last three day, up to 31 cases were confirmed each day compared to 2 to 5 each day prior to that. Still it is clear that we must have more than the documented 181 cases total for the country.

We will continue our efforts to offer care to our vulnerable population and to keep the staff protected everywhere at the hospital. Our staff is courageous and vigilant!

HaitiHaiti Facts

Area:
10,714 square miles – slightly smaller than the state of Maryland

Population:
10,788,440 (July 2018 est.)
Note: estimates take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS

Languages:
French, Creole

Issues:
Poorest country in the Western Hemisphere; political instability; frequent natural disasters

Discover NPH Haiti

Also known as Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs (NPFS, French for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”), NPH Haiti was founded by Father William B. Wasson on October 14, 1987. Two years later, he and
Father Rick Frechette established a medical program which would later become St. Damien Pediatric Hospital.

NPH Haiti Facts

Opened:
October 14, 1987

Children/youth fully supported:
981

Total services provided:
99,155 (includes St. Damien Pediatric Hospital, and youth fully supported, community children, youths and adults who receive support by either attending our onsite schools, receive scholarships, receive in-kind donations and or medical/social services.)

Facilities/Programs:

  • St. Hélène Foyer, the main children’s home, is located 5,000 feet above sea level in Kenscoff, about 25 miles from the capital of Port-au-Prince. It is home to more than 400 children.
  • St. Damien Pediatric Hospital in Tabarre, a suburb of the capital, is the nation’s premier children’s facility.
  • Kay St. Germaine, Kay Gabriel and Kay Elaine are rehabilitation outpatient centers providing therapy and educating children and adults with neurological disabilities.
  • Father Wasson Angels of Light in Tabarre provides a home and school for vulnerable and displaced children.
  • Don Bosco in Tabarre is a higher education program for youths who graduated from St. Hélène and are attending high school, university or technical schools.

Did You Know?

  • As a result of the 2010 earthquake, NPH/NPFS Haiti suffered the tragic loss of staff, volunteers and family members, as well as extensive facility damage. Despite these losses, by year’s end, they assisted over one million people.
  • St. Damien Pediatric Hospital focuses on providing long-term care for critically ill children. It also offers outpatient care and public health programs that provide more than 80,000 services per year. Heart surgery was performed on site for the first time in 2015 with over 150 children receiving life-saving operations
    since then.
  • Following an earthquake near Port-de-Paix in 2018, NPH and its sister program, the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, distributed 600 sacks of rice, 200 sacks of beans, 600 liters of cooking oil, and 250 sacks of pasta, providing more than 1,000 children with three meals a day.
  • In 2018, a multipurpose space was constructed at the outpatient school and rehab facility Kay St. Germaine. It has areas for sports and dance for special needs students, and training workshops for staff, parents and patients.

More Information:

• VIDEO: NPH Haiti: A Glimpse at Family Life, December 2013
Holiday Celebrations at NPH Haiti
• VIDEO: NPH Haiti St. Damien Pediatric Hospital: Not One Be Lost, October 2013
St. Damien Pediatric Hospital Fund
• Fact Sheet (PDF)
Home Map (PDF)
• Visitor’s Guide (PDF)

How to Help:

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Learn about the other NPH homes:

Bolivia | Dominican Republic | El Salvador | Guatemala | Haiti | Honduras | Mexico | Nicaragua | Peru