The American Red Cross proudly joins Partners In Health in celebrating the opening of their landmark health center in Haiti, the Mirebalais University Hospital.
An inauguration ceremony will take place on April 28 at the energy-efficient, state-of-the-art facility, which will provide Haitians with advanced care not found at any other public infirmary in the country. The 300-bed hospital is expected to receive up to 500 outpatients each day from the surrounding area, and its impact on community health is expected to reach throughout Haiti.
Features such as separate labor and delivery, emergency, women’s health and pediatric wards provide room for physicians to carry out advanced procedures and specialized patient monitoring, including neonatal, pediatric and adult intensive care units. The hospital is also home to a pharmacy, dental clinic and mental health clinic.
“Our grant to Partners In Health for the construction of Mirebalais University Hospital represented a significant investment in the quality of health services for the Haitian community,” Meltzer said.
Not only does the hospital fill a void in vital health care for vulnerable communities in Haiti, but it also establishes a much-needed teaching facility for local and foreign medical professionals, including doctors, nurses and dentists.
“We recognize that there is an immediate need to repair the pipeline of medical professionals in the country, and this hospital addresses the crucial demand for state-of-the-art medical training in Haiti,” said David Meltzer, Chief International Officer and General Counsel for the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross first partnered with PIH in 2011, providing $5.5 million for the construction of the hospital. Since then, the need for such a facility has remained urgent due to the limited access to advanced health care in the country. The majority of Haiti’s health care professionals study abroad, where they more often than not remain to establish their practice.
At 205,000 square feet, Mirebalais Hospital is the largest public health center outside of Port-au-Prince, and is run entirely through energy-efficient rooftop solar panels. To safeguard staff and visitors, a strategic combination of wall-mounted UV lights and low energy ceiling fans in the public waiting areas helps to kill off germs from airborne diseases like tuberculosis.
“This hospital is the culmination of a dream dating back a quarter-century and underlines our commitment to the country and people of Haiti, which is stronger than ever after the earthquake,” said PIH co-founder Paul Farmer in a statement.
Since the January 12, 2010 earthquake, the American Red Cross has spent or committed to spend nearly $66 million on improving the quality of and access to health care in Haiti, with an emphasis on building health infrastructure, supporting operational and construction costs for several hospitals and clinics throughout the country.
In order to help stem the spread of communicable diseases, the Red Cross continues to incorporate hygiene promotion and disease prevention activities in its vast spectrum of work in Haiti. In 2012, the American Red Cross joined the UN Foundation’s nationwide Measles, Rubella and Polio vaccination campaign, and partnered again with PIH to provide more than 70 percent of the funding needed to purchase and distribute Haiti’s first ever cholera vaccine. To date, the American Red Cross has spent more than $50 million to improve access to clean water and sanitation facilities.
About Partners In Health: PIH is a global health organization relentlessly committed to improving the health of the poor and marginalized. We build local capacity and work closely with impoverished communities to deliver high quality health care, address the root causes of illness, train providers, advance research and advocate for global policy change. Ninety-three percent of the funds we raise go to our programs in the ten countries where we work, including Haiti, Rwanda, Russia, Peru and the United States. For more information, visit www.PIH.org.