While the impact of the earthquake was felt most acutely in Port au Prince, the entire country has been affected. Hundreds of thousands of the displaced have returned to a long neglected countryside and to secondary cities like Cap Haitian. Nate Nickerson, Director of Konbit Sante, provides an update on how Cap Haitian is dealing with the influx and what is being done to meet the health needs of returnees. You can learn more about Konbit Sante's important work, and how you can support them, on their Website and Facebook Page.
Konbit Sante is a Maine-based non profit organization focused on building the physical infrastructure of Cap Haitian's Justinian Hospital and the capacity of its staff, significant given that this health facility is the largest in the north. Last week, Konbit Sante announced a new partnership with Direct Relief International (DRI). DRI has agreed to provide close to half a million dollars worth of medications to the Justinian Hospital. Should tropical storms hit northern Haiti again this year, having these medicines on hand will considerably improve response time. A press release is copied below.
Konbit Sante is a non profit organization based in Portland, Maine. Their focus is improving the physical infrastructure of Cap Haitian’s Justinian Hospital and building the capacity of its staff. Konbit Sante has helped to upgrade facilities, water supply, electricity, medical equipment, and computer information systems. In addition, it has set in place numerous training opportunities for health care providers. The attached annual report provides background on their accomplishments in 2008. Especially exciting is the new Women’s Initiative, dedicated to improving maternal health.
The Maine based Konbit Sante group continues to make a difference in Northern Haiti by investing in the human and physical infrastructure that the Hospital Justinien needs to become the hospital that Cap Haitian deserves. In recognition of their efforts, Konbit Sante was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the Dorthea Ross Haus Foundation to build a pediatric emergency room at Justinian Hospital. The project, which is expected to take six months to complete, will also help improve water and sanitation in the pediatric facility.
There are more Haitian doctors in Florida than in Haiti. When you speak to them, their frustration is palpable. Many want an opportunity to give back to their country - but at the same time, they want the resources and tools they need to make a difference for their patients.