For Haitians afflicted with LF – already extremely poor, and now suffering, handicapped and stigmatized by a disease with no outright cure – the small clinic outside the Hospital St. Croix (HSC) near Port-au-Prince is a godsend. Here they receive physical therapy, treatment and advice that can make a huge difference in managing the disease.
LF is a parasitic disease caused by threadlike worms in the bloodstream and lymph system, transmitted through multiple bites of infected mosquitos over time. Although not curable, LF can be treated with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) to kill the parasite in the host body to prevent infecting others. There are also treatments to reduce symptoms. LF is designated as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). More than 12,000 Haitians in Léogâne are infected with LF, as 88% of Haiti is a risk zone for LF.
Clinic Needs & Operations
Founded and operated by Father Thomas Streit of the University of Notre Dame, and initially funded by the Hospital St. Croix and the Episcopal Church, the Clinic is now an independent entity. Léogâne, the area where the clinic is located, was the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. It took much rebuilding after the earthquake, but the clinic has recovered and is in full operation again with funding from The Carter Center.