Expanding Access to Health Care in Haiti
Yesterday in Haiti, President Clinton visited the Project Medishare site at the Hospital Bernard Mevs to announce a grant of $442,100 from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF). The extensive grant will fund and implement a medical training and education program for approximately 47 Haitian healthcare professionals – filling a significant need in a region that was hit hard by the January 2010 earthquake.
The earthquake not only killed, injured, or destroyed the homes of nearly 3 million Haitians; it also devastated the country’s health care infrastructure. Of Haiti’s 49 hospitals, 30 were damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of residents without access to basic health services.
The CBHF grant will strengthen access to health care in a region that otherwise would not be able to afford it. Using an internationally recognized curriculum, the program will train approximately 47 Haitian healthcare professionals – radiology technicians, lab technicians, and pathologists - in the use of the hospital’s recently donated, state-of-the-art medical equipment including digital X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, biomedical technology, and CT scanners. All trainees will commit to at least 12 months of work at Bernard Mevs and three years of service in Haiti following completion of the program.
During his visit, President Clinton toured several different areas of the hospital – including the triage center, operating rooms and the NICU – and spoke with hospital staff about the importance of the CBHF grant to future operations. He visited the prosthetics center, which is staffed entirely by Haitians, and saw the important rehabilitation and physical therapy work they are doing there. He also spoke with the Project Medishare team about the advantages to adding solar panels to the hospital in order to reduce monthly expenses and ensure a more consistent power supply.
The program will be led and implemented by both Medishare staff in Haiti and Miami, and current Haitian staff at the Bernard Mevs hospital. Founded in 1995, the hospital operates as one of the only trauma, critical care, and rehabilitation centers in Haiti and has neonatal, pediatric and adult intensive care units. In 2011, the hospital treated more than 20,000 patients and performed 150 surgeries each month, many of them pro-bono.
President Clinton joined President Bush in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake to form CBHF, which today focuses on long-term rebuilding efforts in the country and has dedicated significant resources to Haiti’s health systems. Previously, CBHF granted $500,000 to Project Medishare to rebuild health care systems in in the region. President Clinton has also directed resources to Haiti’s health care and long-term growth through the Clinton Foundation.