In Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, a history of civil strife, natural disaster, ecological devastation and economic chaos has created some formidable health care challenges. Basic infrastructure, clean water and sanitation are among the great needs facing the country’s nine million people, six million of which are children. Critical health issues:
- more than one in three Haitians die from a preventable disease
- an ongoing epidemic of cholera (new to the country) and exacerbated by lack of basic sanitation and potable water
- infant mortality rates over two-and-a-half times higher neighboring countries
- nearly one in ten children will likely die before they reach the age of five.
- overall the worst health conditions in the region including the highest rates of maternal mortality, malnutrition and HIV/AIDS
Compounding Haiti’s health problems is its vulnerability to destructive storms, mudslides and floods and most recently a devastating earthquake. The magnitude of the earthquake has added major burdens for a health care system already overwhelmed with high levels of communicable and chronic disease.
With the establishment of our Haiti team, in-country office and distribution warehouse following the 2010 earthquake, AmeriCares greatly expanded its capacity to address the myriad health issues plaguing this battered nation. We work with local and international NGOs to support health care access with basic medicines and medical supplies. We have been a primary, life-saving resource for cholera treatment and prevention in response to the epidemic.
AmeriCares has been providing humanitarian aid to Haiti since 1984, partnering with local health care organizations throughout the country. We help our partners serve more patients and avoid running out of basic medicines and medical supplies with regular shipments throughout the year. Today, AmeriCares sends over 300 aid shipments a year to Haiti—an average of nearly one shipment a day—to health care facilities throughout the country. We are providing support for over 100 hospitals and clinics.
Some of our Partners in Haiti:
- Since 1994, AmeriCares has partnered with the Center for the Rural Development of Milot (CRUDEM), which provides health services for 225,000 people in northern Haiti. CRUDEM Foundation operates the largest nonprofit hospital in the area.
- In 2003, AmeriCares began working with the Connecticut-based Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) to support its work serving the health care needs of 200,000 people in and around Jérémie, Haiti.
- AmeriCares also has worked with Partners in Health which manages eight clinics and one hospital in the Central Plateau of Haiti, providing health care for more than 1 million patients each year.
In January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed over 200,000 people and did massive damage to the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Within 48 hours, AmeriCares responded with emergency shipments and soon developed a plan of action to deal with the immediate and longer term needs of the Haitian people. Read more
In 2008, Haiti sustained blows from four back-to-back storms - Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and Tropical Storms Fay and Hanna, creating catastrophic mudslides and flooding. We sent a series of aid deliveries including an emergency airlift of critical medical and disaster relief supplies. Read more
In 2004, when Tropical Storm Jeanne and Hurricane Ivan caused violent flash floods and mudslides, we also provided significant disaster relief. Also in 2004, AmeriCares delivered emergency relief to Haiti after civil and political unrest affected the entire country.
Working with partners to develop and support programs addressing the urgent needs of the most vulnerable sector of the population—mothers and children, particularly pregnant women, with counseling, medicines and nutritional support. Emergency services and hospital maternity care are also being addressed. Read More »
AmeriCares also donates medical products to qualified U.S. health care professionals who are traveling to Haiti to provide charitable medical care. Through this program, donated medicines and medical supplies reach impoverished and isolated communities where even basic medical care is inaccessible to the poor or often non-existent. AmeriCares donations cure infections, relieve pain, help patients manage chronic diseases and make life-changing surgeries possible. In the early weeks after the 2010 earthquake, AmeriCares supported over 200 volunteer medical teams.