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Thank you, Sisters!
March 4, 2024

Many people in the rural village of Baradères, Haiti, will see a doctor this winter, thanks to a special grant to UPLIFT Haiti from the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM).

Because of the Ministry Grant from the SNJM U.S.-Ontario Province, the Baradères Health Center can now plan a 5-day medical clinic for more than a thousand local residents. Through Ministry Grants, the SNJM community partner with organizations dedicated to justice and equality, with special concern for the poor and disadvantaged.

The Baradères Health Center is the only public health facility in a 60-square-mile district of steep mountains, flood-prone valleys and near-impassable roads. About 50,000 people live in the Baraderes district. Most are subsistence farmers and fishers.

Sr. Judith Prophète, administrator of the Baradères Health Center, called the grant "really good news" given all the health challenges in Baradères, and she is very grateful to the SNJM sisters in North America.

Sr. Judith, of Haiti's Little Sisters of St. Thérèse, will use the SNJM grant and donations from other UPLIFT Haiti supporters to hire two dozen temporary medical staff and purchase medications and other supplies. 

She had hoped to conduct the clinic in late February.  But these days, violent gangs, economic collapse, and political paralysis are complicating every Haitian’s life.      

At a 5-day clinic funded by UPLIFT Haiti last year, 1,400 patients were cared for. Along with 10 nurses, there were four general physicians, an internist, a pediatrician, a gynecologist, an ophthalmologist and four dentists.  Patients are not charged to see a doctor, and prescriptions cost only a few pennies. 

The Baradères Health Center—like many other hospitals in Haiti—is also coping with a cholera outbreak. Through mid-February, the center had cared for at least 38 patients with cholera.  Five have died.

Until UPLIFT Haiti sent emergency funds in January, the center lacked enough bleach, soap, doxycycline or food for cholera patients.  Now the center can fully treat all of them and feed all of them.  

Currently, the outbreak has slowed. "We can take a breath," Sr. Judith said.

In Haiti there are 25 doctors per 100,000 people (360 in the U.S) and an estimated 300 dentists for the 11 million people with teeth. Most medical expertise is clustered around the capital city of Port-au-Prince.  

Rural Haiti can be a medical desert, but the Baradères Health Center is a priceless oasis. Our long-term goal in working with the center is to help the center do more for public health. Among potential advances, when funding allows:

  • Regular visits by dentists—possibly monthly.  
  • Regular visits by midwives to conduct prenatal education sessions, health checkups, and to train “matwòn”—birth attendants. (In Haiti, most women give birth at home.)
  • Increased capacity of the colvol—the local cadre of volunteer health workers.  The colvol help report and monitor health crises, such as cholera outbreaks, in the dozens of tiny settlements in the 60-square-mile Baradères district. They are integral to the logistics of the health center’s public education programs and multiday medical clinics.
  • Reliable distribution of medicines for widespread conditions such as gastritis, hypertension, anemia and infections.

You can help by donating online at: http://uplifthaiti.org/donate.htm.

 

ColvolSenior members of the Baradères colvol, community health workers, at a training session in 2019.

 

 

 

Doctor and patientTwelve doctors and ten nurses staffed a 2023 multiday clinic. They cared for 1,400 Baradères residents who attended.

Dentist with young girl patientHaiti has an estimated 300 dentists, fewer than 1 per 35,000 people, and most of them are in Port-au-Prince. The Baradères center hired four dentists for the February 2023 multiday clinic funded by UPLIFT Haiti.

stew being ladled into bowlsA hearty stew is prepared for cholera patients at the Baradères Health Center.

 

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© UPLIFT Haiti