Helping Haitians Help Haitians

Tout venn touche kè.
All veins touch the heart.

Inadequate health services, poor nutrition and deficient (or non-existent) sanitation systems have pushed Haiti to the bottom of the World Bank's rankings of health indicators.

Eighty percent of Haiti's population lives below the poverty line, according to the United Nations World Food Programme.

Half of all Haitian children are undersized as a result of malnutrition. Less than half the population has access to clean drinking water, a rate that compares poorly even with other less-developed nations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that only 43 percent of the target population receives recommended immunizations. Life expectancy is 54 years.

In terms of health care spending, Haiti ranks last in the Western Hemisphere. Per capita, Haiti spends about $83 (U.S.) annually on health care. Most rural areas have no access to health care, making residents susceptible to otherwise treatable diseases.

Health care is at the heart of our mission.  For many years, we’ve operated an onsite primary care clinic—with pharmacy and laboratory—and a nutrition program at our Christ Roi campus.  In recent years we have instituted a community health outreach program. This initiative includes a regular mobile clinic in our district of Port-au-Prince.  Over the years, we’ve worked closely with other medical professionals and a medical mission team based in Connecticut that treats Haitians in three communities in and around Port-au-Prince.

Our SR. ANN WELLER CLINIC, staffed exclusively by Haitian medical professional, treats about 6,000 people annually. Treatment spans a variety of conditions, including respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, diabetes, and malnutrition.  In addition to consultation and examination by physicians, patients are given medication, vaccinations and lab tests as necessary. Follow-up visits are regularly scheduled, and referrals to specialists are given if needed.

In our COMMUNITY HEALTH OUTREACH, trained health agents go to nearby neighborhoods to visit families in their homes, where they can identify any safety and sanitary problems and determine the availability of clean water. The health agents provide education and assistance in correcting problems and deficiencies. The agents also provide in-home training in personal hygiene, food preparation and the set-up of safe environments for children. Clean water is offered at our Christ Roi campus, through the SUNSPRING WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM there.

The community health initiative includes a quarterly MOBILE CLINIC, staffed by our medical team. These mobile clinics set up in neighborhood churches and schools and provide the same services as those available at our campus clinic.

Our ONSITE NUTRITION PROGRAM serves 75 families whose children have been diagnosed with mild or moderate malnutrition. Families receive regular rations of food and supplements, along with educational sessions on nutrition and food preparation. The goal is to bring each child to normal weight.

Our medical care has included PARTNERING WITH VISITING MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS to provide dental services, mental health treatment and the skills of trauma and prosthetic specialists following the January 2010 earthquake.  Over the years, we have worked closely with MATH (Medical Aid to Haiti), a non-profit based in Connecticut. Its medical teams visit Haiti four times a year to help in mobile clinics that they sponsor and that serve three communities in and near Port-au-Prince throughout the year.

© 2017 Outreach to Haiti