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Strengthening public health services in Baradères
January 1, 2018

How does a small, poorly funded public hospital in rural Baradères, Haiti, serve a regional population of more than 50,000 people? The answer: With difficulty, and with help from local first responders—a corps of 50 community health workers and a small group of rural birth attendants.

UPLIFT Haiti and the Baradères hospital are trying to strengthen this existing system of community health support. We hope our supporters will help us through donations. You can donate online at: http://uplifthaiti.org/donate.htm.

Community health workers (CHWs) essentially are volunteers in all but name. Their “pay” is a monthly stipend of 250 Haitian gourdes—about $3.92. They receive the stipend when they walk—up to several miles—to the Baradères hospital for a monthly training session. The birth attendants, known as matwòn, receive a stipend of 100 Haitian gourdes, about $1.57, for each live birth they assist.

Sr. Marie Judithe Prophète, administrator of the Baradères hospital, knows the stipends are pittances. But it is all she can currently afford. Although the hospital is owned by the government, almost none of its operations are funded by the government.

Baradères is a town of several thousand. But the Baradères region, about 35 square miles, is dotted with hundreds of tiny settlements along roadless river valleys and on steep mountainsides.

When community health workers visit these settlements, they bring news of vaccination programs and medical clinics available in Baradères. They conduct routine health exams and check for unusual disease outbreaks. They educate people on how to guard against cholera. They learn of difficult pregnancies that the Baradères hospital staff would want to know about. Sometimes they race to fetch a midwife from Baradères or, if there is no time, fetch a matwòn.

The CHW and matwòn increase the community’s capacity to protect the health of its members. We would like to find a sustainable way to at least double their stipends as a way of recognizing their importance, strengthening their commitment, and expanding their role.

In addition, UPLIFT Haiti will fund special workshops for the CHWs and birth attendants during a five-day medical clinic we are sponsoring in Baradères in February. As with the clinics we sponsored in 2016 and 2017, about 800 patients are expected to be treated by the nine Haitian physicians we are hiring for the clinic days. We also again expect to refer a few patients for hospital surgeries or other specialized treatments.

To help us increase the training stipend for CHWs and birth attendants in Baradères, as well as to support our February medical clinic, please consider making an online donation at http://uplifthaiti.org/donate.htm.

We are grateful to our volunteers and other donors for joining us in believing that the people of Haiti have not given up on their country and we will not give up either.


Pediatrician examines patientPediatrician Nadege Philippe-Victor examines a patient at the medical clinic sponsored by UPLIFT Haiti March 13-17, 2017, in Baradères, Haiti. Dr. Philippe-Victor will also serve at the clinic in February 2018.


What a difference a day makes. Fadnes, a patient at the 2017 clinic, 3 days after treatment began on his severely infected left eye. Inset shows him 2 days after treatment. He was discharged March 25, with both eyes wide open.

Unite People to Learn, Inspire and Form Together."

© UPLIFT Haiti