Hope and Health for Haiti


Safety and Security
Keeping You Safe is Our First Priority

Natural Disasters

Evacuation procedures will be in place and will be an important component of your orientation upon arrival at the hospital.

Earthquake: As we all know, Haiti suffered from a devastating earthquake in January 2010 that severely impacted the country. That was, in part, the impetus for the Bethesda Referral and Teaching Hospital. For that reason, we have involved organizations and architects familiar with building in an earthquake potential environment. While no building is 100% safe in an earthquake, this hospital will be designed to the most current and stringent U.S. earthquake standards.

Hurricane: Since the hospital is located at Port Lafito on the leeward/western side of the island of Hispaniola, the mountains to the east will shield the hospital from the effects of a hurricane, usually resulting in just heavy rain.


With the hospital’s proximity to the Port Lafito, fire equipment will be readily available. In addition, the buildings will be built to US standards regarding fireproofing and fire extinguishing capabilities.


Although the hospital is located in a less populated, controlled area as part of the Port Lafito complex, we will employ safety procedures similar to those found in any urban US hospital. Trained guard staff will control access to the hospital grounds and provide security within the facility. When arriving at the airport and leaving the campus at any time, transportation will be provided with security personnel.


Water: Since impure water is the number one cause of travelers’ health issues, water at the hospital will be purified following US standards using onsite methods. In addition to fresh water reservoirs, Lafito is providing a desalinization plant that will ensure a current water source powered by Port Lafito’s seven massive generators.

Mosquito-Borne Concerns: Dengue and Chikungunya viruses are present in Haiti and are both carried by mosquitos for which there is no vaccine. The hospital will be a closed and filtered environment with a low potential for insect-borne health concerns. However, when traveling outside the buildings proper precautions should be taken including the use a mosquito repellant such as DEET and wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants.

Malaria is present in Haiti. Chloroquine prevention is recommended starting one week prior to your visit to Haiti. See www.cdc.gov/travel for details.

Zika Virus: Since the Zika virus is in Haiti, and in light of CDC recommendations, we recommend that pregnant women – or women with a possibility of pregnancy and young couples planning on pregnancy – not travel to Haiti.

Please review for in-depth information regarding pregnancy and Zika at the following link http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html

How To Protect Yourself Against Mosquito Bites:

1) Wear insect repellent: Yes! It is safe. When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites—even children and pregnant women should protect themselves. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer lasting protection.

  • DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
  • IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.

2) Cover up: When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.

3) Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens.

Here is a link to a pdf with DEET and Premetherin clothing Recommendations:


If you get sick within a month after travel follow up with your doctor:


The daily temperature ranges from 75˚ to 90˚. May and October receive the most rain.