NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / April 29, 2020 / In anticipation of an onslaught of COVID-19 cases, Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, has created an historic public-private partnership, the Commission Multisectoral de Gestation de Pandemic COVID-19, to coordinate the country’s resources and response to the looming pandemic.
President Moïse selected Dr. Jean William Pape, founder of the GHESKIO network of clinics, to co-chair the commission, along with Dr. Lauré Adrien, director general of the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population. The commission’s immediate focus is on developing diagnosis and treatment approaches that are both effective and practical, in light of Haiti’s extremely limited resources.
“The work of the commission will be critical to saving as many lives as we possibly can,” said Dr. Pape.
Dr. Pape has developed a world-renowned reputation as a leader in combatting infectious diseases and saving lives. In 1980, his fight against infantile diarrhea in Haiti reduced the infant mortality rate from over 40% to less than 1% in just a year. He has been instrumental in the campaign against HIV in Haiti, resulting in a decrease in prevalence from 6.2% in 1993 to 2% today. After Haiti suffered the worst cholera outbreak in modern history, Dr. Pape led his team to serve more than 100,000 cholera patients. The protocols his GHESKIO team have developed are used to combat diseases in developing countries and around the globe.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Haiti is predicted to soar, with more than 300,000 patients projected to need hospitalization by August. The country is especially vulnerable to the pandemic, since many residents live in densely populated communities where self-isolation is physically impossible. Most of those in Port-au-Prince and surrounding communities lack access to clean water and soap.
“Survival will require unprecedented levels of creativity, collaboration and commitment among all of our partners, with a rapid release of funds to fight COVID-19,” said Dr. Pape.