According to Reuters, Haitian witch doctors say they’re concocting secret remedies and preparing rooms in 1,000 voodoo temples to treat COVID-19 patients. Haiti’s failed infrastructure and inadequate medical care leave viable options few and far between.
Plus, “Voodoo is a very strong influence in Haiti. When people are sick, they often will go to a witch doctor for a solution,” Kate Michel explains. Michel oversees fundraising and communication at 4VEH, TransWorld Radio’s partnering network in Haiti.
“Even if they are suffering from money problems, they will go to the witch doctor often first.”
Fact vs. fiction
In mid-April, Haitian Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe declared victory over COVID-19 and began re-opening the country. However, coronavirus infections quintupled in recent weeks, driving desperation sky-high. “Patients are in a very difficult spot right now. A lot of health clinics are not prepared to receive people and to treat them for COVID-19,” Michel says.
With few options in sight, Haitians turn to what they know. Half of the country’s 11 million people practice voodoo.
“Voodoo ceremonies are about appealing to the Voodoo spirit… that’s what people are turning to for help and for hope. We encourage people to turn to the Lord and to ask for God’s help and God’s intervention in this.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for 4VEH’s team as they share COVID-19 health information and provide a voice of hope.
- Pray for adequate funding so 4VEH can remain on the air.
- Pray Haitians will work together to find solutions and slow the spread of COVID-19.