Moved by Haiti’s latest tragedy, the closure of a hospital after a gang of kidnappers stole its brand new generator, readers of the Miami Herald demanded an update – and how they can help Sainte Croix de Léogâne to keep its lights on and its doors open.
The Rev. Jn Michelin St. Louis, director of the hospital, said the $38,000, 120-kilowatt generator remains in the hands of gang members and the 90-bed hospital south of Port-au- Prince has not accepted any new patients since Thursday. This includes pregnant women who make up the majority of hospital patients and babies requiring neonatal care.
“We have rooms that are currently empty and closed,” St. Louis said. “We still have an electricity problem and if we accept patients, we will no longer have electricity. This is why we are not accepting any new patients.
On Wednesday, kidnapping gangs an hour east in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Martissant hijacked the hospital’s delivery truck with its two drivers and a newly purchased – and still unpaid – generator. -, forcing the hospital management to close their doors.
It was the latest hurdle besetting the hospital, which is run by the Episcopal Church and supported by the Medical Benevolence Foundation, a US-based 501-C-3 charity. The charity’s CEO, E. Andrew Mayo, aka MBF has been a partner of the hospital since its inception and provides the majority of its external funding each year. MBF has a budget of about $60,000 this year for the hospital to help provide services to NICU, pediatric and C-section patients who cannot pay.
He also has a solar power project underway, thanks to a small group of Massachusetts donors. However, the initial two panels are simply not large enough to keep all the lights on all night and currently only serve the newborn’s bedroom.
“Our biggest priority is to help the hospital become more self-sufficient, however, the past two years have simply been in ‘relief mode’ caused by the political unrest and the recent earthquake,” Mayo said.
Mayo said the hospital’s 200 dedicated staff, including 25 doctors and 65 nurses, “continued to work every day, even when going to work means risking their lives for the kidnappers.”
“They worked all night with just their cell phones,” he said.
Mayo said the donated funds will be used to help the hospital pay off the $38,000 debt it incurred to purchase the stolen generator. It is the immediate and short-term emergency relief solution. They can then buy a new generator, which will be delivered to the hospital under police escort — this time.
“Any additional donations received not applied to the generator will be applied to the solar power project. We have arranged this so that it can be expanded in phases as money becomes available,” Mayo said.
People wishing to donate to Hôpital Sainte-Croix can do so online at MBF.net or medicalmission.org. Donors should note that the funds are intended for the HSC. More details about the hospital can be found at https://medicalmission.org/hopital-ste-croix-hsc/
Donations can also be made by mail: MBF, 9555 West Sam Houston Parkway S. Suite 170, Houston, TX 77099.