As we know first-hand from our work in fighting neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Haiti, the impact of this devastating earthquake will be felt for years to come. It is incumbent on all of us to do our part to help the people of Haiti get through this tragic situation.
Haiti suffers from a significant disease burden, with many NTDs endemic to the region including: lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), dengue fever, and soil transmitted helminths (intestinal worms). Nearly fifty percent of Haitians live in urban and peri-urban communities where poverty combines with the conditions of unsafe water, poor sanitation, and the proliferation of animal reservoirs and vectors. The earthquake will only exacerbate an already terrible burden.
Organizations are already mobilizing resources and working tirelessly on the ground. We at the Sabin Vaccine Institute are keeping the people of Haiti in our thoughts and we remain committed to the work with our partners in the region. We urge people to make donations to one of the organizations listed below to help ensure that efforts are expedited and to avoid having this tragedy further intensify a precarious public health situation in an often neglected nation.
Yéle Haiti – Hip-hop star and humanitarian Wyclef Jean’s organization has been committed for a number of years to improving the lives of Haitians. The organization has set up an emergency fund to support earthquake relief efforts, and in addition to donating on the website, you can also text the word "YELE" to 501501 and a $5.00 donation will be charged to your bill for emergency crisis relief support for Haiti.
Partners in Health is mobilizing resources to bring medical assistance to the hardest hit areas. The website has a donation page specifically for emergency funds for Haiti.
Dr. Peter Hotez
President, Sabin Vaccine Institute