Hurricane Matthew devastated countries in the Caribbean especially Haiti and Cuba, where approximately 300,000 people have been affected, with the provinces of Guantanamo and Holguin most affected. According to initial reports, 40-50% of health facilities were damaged or are partially operating in eastern Cuba. Post-hurricane conditions are favorable for an increase in cholera cases in affected areas. The Haitian Civil Protection Agency reports that 350,000 people need assistance, a total of 35 health facilities including hospitals and clinics were affected by the floods and heavy winds.
Even before the rain subsided, Global Links activated a response team, and began communication with our long-time partners, PAHO Cuba and PAHO Haiti, to evaluate damages to the health sector and prepare a joint response to support health services and prevent the spread of disease, particularly cholera.
Global Links has worked in Cuba and Haiti since 1994 and 1996 respectively, supporting disaster response and long-term recovery. We are working with our partners on the ground to assess the current state of health services and materials necessary to protect health workers and mitigate the spread of disease. Financial support is needed to process and ship the materials that are requested by the health authorities.
For 27 years, Global Links has been supporting public health systems throughout the Caribbean, including long-term disaster recovery projects after the earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Sandy in Cuba.