Economically poorest in the Western Hemisphere
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Haiti is a chronically unstable country in economic decline, ranked by the United Nations as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haitian families are poorer now than they were 40 years ago. The United Nations Development Program estimates that nearly 80 percent of Haitians live on less than $2 a day. Additionally, Haiti suffers the highest HIV and AIDS prevalence in the Americas at 1.9%. Few people live past 62. The land is severely degraded and deforested. Civil conflicts keep the country in persistent political instability.
Haiti 2010 earthquake
A 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Haiti on January 12, 2010. One of the hardest hit areas is Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital. With a death toll in the thousands and millions of Haitians left homeless, injured and struggling to survive, the earthquake is the worst disaster to hit the country in 200 years.
Our work in Haiti
Medical Teams International first sent volunteers to Haiti in 1994 to assist the victims of a civil conflict. In 2004, we deployed six disaster response teams to provide health care services for those wounded in Hurricane Jeanne. In 2006, we funded a safer home-birth program through Catholic Relief Services and sent a midwifery team to train traditional birth attendants on effective ways to oversee delivery. In the first two weeks following the 2010 earthquake, Medical Teams International sent 8 teams with more than 35 doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
Over the past two years, Medical Teams International has mobilized 84 teams and more than 374 medical volunteers to provide care and training to the people of Haiti. We delivered more than $10,496,464 of medicines and medical supplies. Further, we provided 2,464 rehabilitation sessions and much-needed prosthetics to those disabled in the earthquake through our Haiti Advantage program. Our work teams helped to rebuild clinics and medical facilities at various locations throughout the country.
Medical Teams International plans to send 27 medical teams and physical therapy teams to Haiti from July, 2012 through June, 2013 to support our work with Haiti Advantage, the Beraca Hospital, the Canaan Clinic and the work of our partner, Haiti Foundation of Hope.
Haiti Advantage program
Since 2001, Haiti Advantage has been providing assistance to persons with physical disabilities, helping them to function independently and fully within the immediate community and society of Haiti.
Haiti Advantage is located in Les Cayes and is the only full-time, comprehensive, professionally staffed program serving persons with disabilities in southwest Haiti. The program’s objectives are to increase the physical, emotional and economic capacity of persons with disabilities and advocate alongside them to reduce social stigma and increase their knowledge regarding abilities and legal rights.
For more information, please see Haiti Advantage.
Centre Medical Beraca & La Coma Medical Outpost
The projects at Centre Medical Beraca, is a 78 bed ‘full service’ hospital with very basic Maternity, Pediatric, Surgery, Internal Medicine, and Infectious Disease focus. It is located in La Puente, allowing it to serve some of the most marginalized 450,000 people in Haiti. The hospital was founded in 1944 by Missionary Nurse Caroline Bradshaw and has survived through natural disasters, political upheavals and financial hardships, a testament to the dedication, hard work and ingenuity of its staff.
Medical Teams International is supporting the hospital by:
- Providing medical teams that support specialty training needs and primary care efforts at the hospital.
- Continuing to support the hospital’s Cholera Treatment Center.
- Employing the services of a full time OB/GYN to support maternal health needs in the area.
- Filling critical life-saving gaps in patient care and pharmacy.
- Aiding the hospital with infrastructural improvements necessary to improve patient care, expand services and break down barriers to accessing medical services.
Medical Teams International will also provide financial support to our partner Haiti Foundation of Hope. With that funding, the organization will:
- Manage a community health program that will impact the lives of 3,000 people in northern Haiti.
- Improve access to and utilization of maternal health services for pregnant women and mothers.
- Improve the nutritional status of children less than five years of age.
Canaan Medical Clinic
The Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camp (IDP) of Canaan is an IDP camp about an hour north of the capital, Port-au-Prince, where approximately 90,000 people have resettled after the 2011 earthquake. The clinic is managed by Medical Teams International Haitian staff nurses and is offered supplemental support by visiting US-based volunteer physicians and nurses. The nurses provide consultations, exams, medications and health training to the population living in Canaan on a daily basis. We support the Canaan IDP Community by:
- Staffing and managing daily primary care medical clinics that care for over 18,000 residents of the Canaan IDP camp annually.
- Providing referrals and arranging transfers of those in need of acute care.
- Providing pharmaceutical services at the camp.
- Sending primary care and specialty service volunteer teams from the US annually.
Our plans for continued aid
Medical Teams International continues to provide hospital care with surgical capacity, establish support to local health centers and operate mobile medical units to aid in the transition from relief to rehabilitation. Through its new local office in Port-au-Prince, Medical Teams International is working to meet immediate to medium-term orthopedic and medical care needs and help re-establish a functioning health care system.
Our partners in Haiti
Haiti Foundation of Hope is an international Christian non-governmental organization that focuses on education, economic development, and health care services in Terre Blanche,northern Haiti. The founders of HFH have lived and worked in Haiti for more than twenty years and opened a permanent health clinic in February, 2007, that serves approximately 10,000 people a year. The clinic launched a community health program in 2009 and plans to serve people living in rural villages of Terre Blanche, Dubed Dou and Finnel. Since 2004, Medical Teams International has sent 17 primary care teams to Haiti Foundation of Hope’s work. In 2012 Medical Teams International sent the first specialty medical training team to support the Clinic of Hope in Terre Blanche. The training focused on OB/GYN ultrasound, and built the capacity of local Haitian staff at the clinic to provide high quality services to the people they serve.
Our partnerships for disaster relief during the earthquake included Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), World Relief, Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN), Haiti Foundation of Hope, HaitiOne and the Wesleyan Church in Haiti. With these partners, our teams provided disaster relief aid through medicines, supplies and medical services in local hospitals and in the tent cities all around Port-au-Prince.
Please donate or volunteer to help save lives in Haiti.