Poverty March 3, 2015 | 4:23 pm

Health care for sugarcane children

Thousands of children of Haitian and Dominican origins living in Dominican Republic’s impoverished and vulnerable sugarcane plantations rural “bateyes” communities have been left with limited access to basic medical care.

Many suffer from most childhood diseases, malnutrition, parasitic ailments, and HIV and AIDS. Because of their non-legal status, it makes it difficult for them to receive government subsidized medical attention. Their lives are at stake as their families are too poor to afford them most basic necessities and are highly dependent on our organization for their survival.

The batey population ranges from 200,000 to over 1 million, and accounts for between 7-12% of the total Dominican population. Fertility rates reach as high as 4.0; well above the 2.8 national average.

Only 1.2% of women reported using condoms to cause an HIV infection rate five times greater than the national average of 1%. Up to 8% of women under the age of 35 are seropositive, while 12% of men between the ages of 40-44 are infected – a number twelve times the national average.

This negatively impacts food security, as families take in children orphaned by AIDS, even as their productive, wage earning capacity decreases with the diminished health of PLWHAs. The population is highly unemployed and uneducated; and suffers from many other diseases including hypertension, diabetes, and tuberculosis.

With your financial support, Batey Relief Alliance’s Medical Center will subsidize complete medical care, multivitamins, clean drinking water, Antiparasitic medicines, nutrition and antiretroviral therapy for 12,000 children annually who are at greatest and immediate health risks.

Please make a special contribution of $100, $250, $500 or more. If you make a contribution of $5,000 or more, we will place your name or that of a loved one on the entrance wall of our Center, next to other prestigious donors such as the Lions Clubs International Foundation, Clinton Foundation and UPS Foundation."The Community reiterates its condemnation of repudiation exercised by the Government of Dominican Republic to international law," Caricom said.

Faced with that situation, Caricom leaders said they’ve agreed not to move forward on Dominican Republic’s possible entry to the regional bloc. "In light of recent problematic events the Caribbean Community maintains its decision to stop all talk about the Dominican Republic."

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