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Restoring Health in Haiti: Providing Nutritional Support for Children, Caring for People with Chronic Illness; Helping the Injured

  • April 22, 2011

Sacred Heart Hospital (Hopital Sacre Coeur)

Located in the town of Milot, Sacred Heart Hospital has been a beacon of hope for 25 years in northern Haiti by providing accessible health care for the poor.  Since the earthquake and the diminished availability of medical care throughout Haiti, this 73-bed hospital has taken on a greater role in meeting specialized medical needs. 

By establishing an on-site prosthetics laboratory and with support from AmeriCares, the hospital was able to provide artificial limbs and follow-up care for victims of the earthquake who otherwise would not have been able to afford the life-changing treatment.  

Each artificial limb was individually crafted to fit the patient with workmanship done at the hospital’s prosthetics lab.  Edlyn, a 29-year-old man from Port-au-Prince whose legs were crushed in the earthquake, was recently fitted with artificial legs.  After rehabilitative physical therapy, Edlyn was able to walk again and said he felt overjoyed with his new mobility thanks to AmeriCares.

The Haitian Foundation for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases

Founded in 1987, the Foundation for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases (FHADIMAC) is the only center in Haiti dedicated to helping people affected with these chronic diseases live better through education and better management of their condition. 

In the chaos following the earthquake, many of Haiti’s estimated 300,000 diabetics were without medicine or the ability to monitor their blood sugar levels—both necessary to keep the condition under control.

To provide continuity of care for chronically ill survivors, AmeriCares has supported FHADIMAC with multiple grants totalling $115,000. This support has allowed FHADIMAC to expand its services including adding satellite clinics which serve patients with diabetes and hypertension in the Port-au-Prince area.  The clinics provide free medical attention, education and training, and medications.  In addition, AmeriCares has supported the training of physicians, nurses and pharmacists in diabetes and cardiovascular disease management.

Love a Child

AmeriCares partner, Love a Child, runs a medical facility in eastern Haiti and several other programs including:  13 Love a Child schools that educate and feed over 5,000 children each day; an orphanage; mobile medical clinics for rural communities; and food distribution and malnutrition programs that help feed thousands of Haitian families.

After the earthquake, medical and nutritional donations from AmeriCares helped Love a Child care for the increased number of patients and families who came to its facilities in desperate need and also allowed Love a Child to assist other smaller clinics in remote areas keep their shelves stocked with lifesaving medicines and supplies.

In over a year, AmeriCares has supported Love a Child with 24 shipments of medical aid valued at nearly $884,000.  Donations of nutritional items from AmeriCares have helped Love a Child successfully treat its littlest patients suffering from malnutrition, dehydration and diarrhea. The malnutrition feeding program at Love a Child continues to be vitally needed for so many families still suffering from the devastation caused by the earthquake.

“With the ongoing support from AmeriCares, we can give free care to the poorest of the poor while also helping five nearby rural clinics and a maternity hospital so they, too, can keep their doors open and help more people,” said Carole Stufflebeam, Love a Child’s chief administrator in Haiti.

Since the earthquake last year, AmeriCares has delivered more than $40 million in medicines, medical supplies, nutritional supplements, bottled water, water purification treatments and other humanitarian aid to a network of more than 90 health care providers in Haiti.