Red Cross Investments Improve Access to Health Care in Haiti

Red Cross Investments Improve Access to Health Care in Haiti
They listened to me ... and they really looked after me.

The world’s largest completely solar-powered hospital is one of many new facilities bringing comfort to people seeking health care in Haiti.

For 60-year-old Isemelie Bazard, the opening of University Hospital in Mirebalais was a miracle. After visiting a clinic in Cange for a lump in her breast, she was transferred to the hospital for cancer treatment. A team of Haitian doctors, in consultation with academic partners at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, developed a treatment plan for Bazard.

She was the first patient to undergo surgery at the new hospital, which was constructed with a $5.5 million contribution from the American Red Cross. The solar-powered facility—run by Partners In Health—is a community-driven space that is full of local art and salvaged church pews.

“It's hard to believe that in a hospital this big there are doctors who understand people,” Bazard said. “They listened to me, they did surgery for me, and they really looked after me. Even my child was able to be here with me. For me this is tremendous support."

The earthquake weakened Haiti’s health services, killing medical professionals, destroying hospitals and contributing to the spread of diseases.

The Red Cross has dedicated significant resources to improving the quality and availability of vital health services nationwide. This includes making investments to prevent and treat diseases such as cholera, malaria and measles; supporting the operation of hospitals, mobile clinics and treatment centers; and funding construction of several medical facilities—University Hospital in Mirebalais, Klinik Kay Kapab in Port-au-Prince and St. Michel Hospital in Jacmel—that are now, or will soon be, caring for thousands of people.

The Red Cross is also supporting local Haitian health organizations, Global Therapy Group and St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, to build a new physical therapy clinic and procure medical equipment.

Recognizing that some people do not have access to primary health care systems, the Red Cross and its partners bring lifesaving health interventions directly into communities. From mass vaccination campaigns, mosquito net distributions, and cholera prevention to hygiene promotion, first aid trainings and mobile clinics, the Red Cross has helped more than 665,000 people through community-based health services, including more than 300,000 people who have benefited from HIV education services.

Almost 3.2 million people have benefited from cholera education and vaccinations. Because cholera is transmitted through water and poor sanitary conditions, the Red Cross has also spent and committed $49 million on projects that have helped provide more than 556,000 people with increased access to clean water and sanitation. Today, the Red Cross continues to support essential sanitation services in many camp sites throughout Port-au-Prince.

Tags: Haiti 2014.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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