Stamford, Conn. – April 18, 2013 – AmeriCares is supplying critical funding and technical support to allow an important limb and brace clinic to continue serving earthquake survivors in Haiti. The BRAC Limb and Brace Centre opened in Port-au-Prince in September 2010 to design and custom fit prosthetic limbs and braces for children and adults injured in the massive earthquake eight months earlier. The prosthetics and braces are manufactured on site by trained Haitian technicians in direct consultation with patients.
The clinic has served over 2,000 patients to date, and is still on the path to self-sufficiency, so BRAC officials approached AmeriCares for assistance. As a result, the two organizations have formed a 3-year partnership to help transition the facility to a self-sustaining operation within 10 years. AmeriCares has awarded $825,000 in funding to cover most of the clinic’s operating expenses through 2016.
Revenue from patient fees will gradually replace philanthropic support to sustain the center. Patients will be charged tiered fees based on their ability to pay. The Haiti Limb and Brace Centre is modeled after a similar prosthetic center that BRAC operates in Bangladesh, which became self-sustaining after its first decade of operation.
“There is a tremendous and chronic need for high-quality care for Haitians living with disabilities which became even greater in the aftermath of the earthquake. By transitioning the BRAC Limb and Brace Centre to a sustainable, local enterprise we will ensure those services will be available for Haitians in the years ahead,” said AmeriCares Haiti Country Director Brian Hoyer. “This project is a shining example of how AmeriCares supports local partners to help earthquake survivors lead longer, healthier lives.”
Both AmeriCares and BRAC USA officials will serve on a steering committee to oversee management of the clinic for the next three years and help chart the course for long-term sustainability. In addition to earthquake amputees, the clinic treats patients injured in accidents and children born with disabilities. About three-quarters of patients treated at the facility are under the age of 15.
“Just as BRAC grew to become largely self-sustaining in its home country of Bangladesh, we seek to catalyze self-sustaining operations that create opportunity for poor people in the 10 other countries where we now work,” says Stacey Clark, Program Manager and CFO for BRAC USA. “We’re excited to continue growing our community of philanthropic partners like AmeriCares who share that vision.”
AmeriCares has been delivering aid to Haiti since 1984 and opened an office and warehouse in Port-au-Prince in the aftermath of the earthquake. In the three years since the disaster, AmeriCares has delivered nearly $65 million in aid to the island nation, including medicines and supplies plus essential training and prevention programs to fight the deadly cholera epidemic. The organization delivers more than 300 shipments a year to Haiti – an average of one shipment a day – to health care facilities throughout the country. AmeriCares also awards grants to health care facilities and community health programs to strengthen the health system in Haiti.