“A silent emergency.” That’s how Dr. Ceremy Fertil, AmeriCares Haiti Program Manager, refers to the perilously low immunization rates in Haiti’s rural north. In the community of Fond-Verrettes, only three percent of people were protected against polio, measles, rubella, tuberculosis, diphtheria and pertussis.
The immunization initiative at Rezo Koze Lasante clinic is fighting this crisis, one person at a time, and producing powerful results: the vaccination rate among women and children is now nearly 90 percent. AmeriCares awarded a $10,000 grant to fund the majority of implementation costs for the initiative – a unique collaboration between AmeriCares, the clinic, and the Haitian Ministry of Health.
Vaccinations for the poorest Haitians
Mothers like Aclime, who brought her four-month old daughter Midna, and Floristal, with her one-year-old son Colonel, know the crucial importance of these vaccines. They have waited long hours on the clinic’s wrap-around porch to ensure their babies are protected for life from potentially deadly diseases.
Floristal, who sells food on the roadside, was told about the initiative through the clinic’s health workers, who travel into small towns to raise awareness. The clinic’s strong local community experience and capacity helped drive the success of the initiative. When babies come in for their vaccinations, their moms leave with a bag of nutritional supplements and vitamins to help their young ones stay healthy and grow.
Now, babies like Midna and Colonel will grow up without fear of being crippled by preventable diseases. With proper immunization, the groundwork is laid for a life of good health and limitless possibilities.
Rezo Koze Lasante clinic serves 20,000 residents in Fond-Verrettes, an impoverished population struggling with limited access to health care. With AmeriCares funds and medicines, this small, unassuming clinic in the hills of Haiti is helping to transform lives.
Read more about how AmeriCares is working to restore health services in Haiti.