Our First-Aid Efforts in Belle Vie

Imagine being sick or injured and having no access to healthcare. That’s the reality for many people in the hills around our village.

The closest medical clinic is located in Anse-a-Galets, which is our port city here on La Gonave. The city is just 15 miles from our village, but it’s not an easy journey. The road is not paved and is extremely rocky and rutted, making travel slow and difficult in good weather, and nearly impossible on rainy days or after a major storm like Hurricane Matthew.

Most of our villagers live on less than $1 a day, so they simply cannot afford to buy a vehicle or pay for a driver. Therefore, they walk everywhere or ride donkeys, if they happen to own one. A trip to the Anse-a-Galets clinic by foot or by donkey can take 4-5 hours if you are well enough to walk or ride, and it is impossible if you are very sick or injured.

The journey is faster by truck or motorcycle, which can cover the 15 miles in 1.5-2 hours. But such speed comes at a high cost. Hiring a motorcycle costs $10-$12 per person each way, and a trip by truck costs $100 each way.

Then there is the cost of treatment, which varies depending on the illness or injury. Medical care in Haiti is inexpensive by U.S. standards, but unaffordable for most Haitians. Also, hospitals in Haiti cannot afford to feed their patients, so sick people must rely on friends and family to travel to the city to bring them food, which is a huge financial burden.

Because of the high costs and difficulties associated with traveling to the clinic, most people come to Laura for first-aid care and over-the-counter medications when they are sick or injured. Using essential medical supplies made possible through your donations, Laura can treat a fever, clean and bandage wounds and burns, and educate and advise our villagers on health, hygiene and treatment.

When treatment is beyond Laura’s abilities, she advises patients to seek professional care in the city. And for true emergencies, there is no choice but to travel to the clinic or risk death without treatment. But often, villagers go without proper care because they simply cannot afford it.

As funds allow, our ministry helps cover the cost of transportation and treatment and, when possible, pastoral visits and food for patients and their families who have to stay in the city for treatment. Our goal is to never see another person suffer for lack of medical care.

Your support is literally helping to save lives in our village and on our island. You can help by:

  • Donating to help purchase over-the-counter medications and first-aid supplies. We are running low on everything at this time.
  • Donating to help purchase a vehicle, such as a Kawasaki Mule, that can help us travel to sick people who can’t come to us, as well as to transport people to the clinic in Anse-a-Galets without having to wait for and pay a hired driver.
  • Bringing a medical team to our village to conduct medical screenings, provide basic medical care; teach basic health, hygiene and disease prevention; and provide advanced training in first-aid and field medicine so Laura can increase her skills.

Thank you for your support!

Read Pierre’s Story.

Rehad Nieka’s story.

Read Genevieve’s story.

Read Fabiola’s story.