Canadian Red Cross helps rebuild Health Care in Haiti

Publié: 12 janvier 2016 18:19 CET

Like the rest of Haiti, the Jacmel community was left reeling after the January 12th 2010 Earthquake devastated the country.  This community of 40,000, capital of the Sud-Est department of Haiti, suffered significant damage to many buildings, including an estimated 70% of homes and the county hospital Saint Michel a Jacmel, the lone public hospital in the county since its construction in 1954.  Given that a strong and functional major health care facility is vitally important to both short-term and long-term recovery efforts, the reconstruction of Saint Michel Hospital was considered an essential task.

The Canadian Red Cross (CRC) provided support through an ambitious $35 million (CAD) 5-year Integrated Health Programme in the South East department to aid in Haiti’s recovery, part of which included support in the rebuilding of Saint-Michel departmental hospital. Collaborating with the Haitian Red Cross (HRC), the American Red Cross (ARC) and the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti (MSPP) to build back a better health care system for those left vulnerable by the earthquake, the ARC and the CRC funded the construction of the first of two buildings, slated to open in the spring of 2016.

This new building will house reception and admission, an outpatient facility for adult, paediatric and reproductive health, dedicated centres for ophthalmology and dentistry and hospital care facilities for internal medicine and surgery/orthopaedics.  CRC has also furnished and installed new equipment, as well as trained staff in the use, repair, and replacement of parts readily available in country.  Through the construction  of Hospital Saint Michel, CRC can better address the goals of their Integrated Health Programme, including quality maternal and child health, improved health education, strengthening of community resilience in health and first aid, and the institutional strengthening of public health.

"As we enter this next big step, I must emphasize that  only one thing has made our being here possible: the perfect cooperation that was established between the Canadian Red Cross and the Saint Michel Hospital team, and that has been the centre of all efforts.  In addition to the exemplary collaboration between all our partners, there was this desire to help, with their entire being, so that the people of Sud-Est could benefit from a modern hospital. We are now ready to begin this journey." Dr. Newton Jeudy, Medical Director of Saint Michel Hospital 

In addition to all these features, the new hospital has been built taking into account maximum sustainability and environmental integration, with features such as natural ventilation, lighting, and water disposal.

"This concern for the respect and technical rigor materialized through continued cooperation between the different partners.  The result is a hospital that meets the highest standards of safety and quality, a hospital that fits into its environment for a sustainable presence.  Our joint efforts have paid off;  the Saint Michel Hospital project became a place of real knowledge transfer. " - Lenin Cruz, chief engineer for architectural and engineering firm Ædifica

The CRC Integrated Health Programme also involved the construction of a community health centre in Gaillard and the renovation of rural health clinics in Marbial, Lafond and Séguin.  These centres provide health care to the residents of rural communities that would otherwise have to travel long distances.  In the first three months of operation, 1,423 consultations were reported in Séguin, including 138 pregnant women for pre-natal care, 385 family planning consultations and 3 births.  In addition to constructing and renovating health care facilities, the CRC Integrated Health Programme also worked directly in communities by distributing water filters, building more than 7,500 latrines, providing funding for 5,000 additional latrines, and training over 700 volunteers and supervisors in community based health and first aid.



Partnership with Haitian Red Cross and Sainte-Justine University Hospital

The Canadian Red Cross health program is a partnership with the Haitian Red Cross, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre, the Public Health Department of the Montréal Health and Social Services Agency and the International Health Unit at the University of Montreal.  These extended partnerships with Canadian institutions harness the best in Canadian health systems knowledge, to improve capacity and access for Haitian communities.  The Integrated Health program is also being implemented in support to and close coordination with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population.

The Canadian Red Cross health program is a partnership with the Government of Canada and their generous matching donation program. In addition to health, the Canadian Red Cross works with other Red Cross National Societies to ensure that the on-going needs of families and their communities are met.