The Haiti Advantage program
For the latest news, please see Dr. June Hanks' blog. It presents the year-end report and other news about the Haiti Advantage program.
About our Advantage program
The Medical Teams International - Advantage Program (MTI-AP) is located in Les Cayes, Haiti and is the only full-time, professionally staffed program providing physical rehabilitation and prosthetic & orthotics services in the southern department of Haiti. Through solid leadership, partnerships, competent and committed human resources, the MTI-AP continues to directly and indirectly impact thousands of Haitians living in southern Haiti who are affected by temporary or permanent disabling conditions.
The goal of the program is to empower persons with physical disabilities to function independently and fully within Haitian society. The objectives are to increase the physical, emotional and economic capacity of persons with disabilities, encourage the reduction of social stigma and increase knowledge regarding abilities and legal rights.
The clinical staff in the physical rehabilitation clinic / prosthetics & orthotics clinic provides evaluation and intervention strategies to meet the physical and psychological needs of persons with temporary or permanent disability. Care extends to the home through training of patients, family, and care givers. Staff members visit patients in their homes as much as possible to assist with practical problem solving. Peer support groups provide encouragement and education to persons with newly acquired disabilities. The staff conducts monthly mobile clinics in the countryside in the southern department to identify and assist persons who are unable to come to the outpatient clinic.
The program intends to provide care for the long term. Due to limb shrinkage, persons with amputation will need two artificial limbs in the first year following amputation and a third limb in the second year which hopefully will last for 3-5 years, depending on use. Due to constant growth, children with amputation need adjustments more frequently and typically need a socket replacement twice a year. Children with lower limb musculoskeletal or neurological conditions will need new braces or repairs every 1-2 years.
The community empowerment component assists persons with disability to address barriers to full engagement in their environment. Children and young people with physical disabilities are sponsored to attend a local school along with their peers without disability to allow for integrated education and reinforcement of the commitment to encourage attitudinal change within Haitian society toward persons with disabilities. Haitian staff, including persons with disability, are trained to conduct programs with community groups to educate regarding common health issues and prevention of disability. Community groups of persons with disability meet regularly to encourage each other, celebrate their abilities, participate in educational and recreational activities and determine solutions for increased participation in societal life.
The program collaborates with Haitian and humanitarian organizations serving persons with disabilities to provide efficient and effective service.
Please donate to help save lives in Haiti.