This is blog site dedicated to our efforts to improve medical care in Haiti. Specifically in Gonaives, Haiti, which is the 3rd largest city. It has roughly 300,000 people in it. It is served by one hospital. That hospital does not really meet ‘hospital’ criteria by our world’s standards. (In fact, it doesn’t meet criteria for a hospital by their standards either.) We began helping them in 2005 by bringing donated surgery and anesthesia equipment, which allowed resumption of surgeries with general anesthesia after the hospital and the city were flooded by Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. We have been down there each year doing free surgeries and conducting free primary care clinics in a church there and in a smaller town nearby, Bayonnaise. We are now building a clinic at the church in Gonaives (which has an elementary school which it will serve as well).
As far as the hospital goes, it was wiped out (yes, again!) by floods tearing through the low lying city from 3 huricanes in September of 2008. We brought them more, newer donated anesthesia machines and equipment for a temporary hospital on our mission there last January. We are now told that the World Health Organization, World Bank, USAID, and others will be building a new modern hospital (shell) above the flood plain, for the city. Now that we are in the ‘donated equipment’ business we are going to help bring more stuff to the existing temporary hospital and the new hospital as it goes up.
Who are we? We are just a group of medical professionals and other volunteers from the 3rd largest city in Colorado, Pueblo (A city of roughly 150,000 people), and all over Colorado as well. (and even Boston and Antarctica!) We have applied for and received grants for our evolving project, Health4Haiti, and do our own fundraising. Our largest grant supporter (and the one that really made our project take off) is Catholic Health Initiatives, which owns many hospitals around our country, including one of our hospitals in Pueblo, St Mary-Corwin. It is through the St Mary-Corwin Foundation that we apply for grants and do our fundraising. We get support and donated equipment from many other medical facilities in the area as well, like Pueblo Surgery Center, Parkwest Surgery Center, Parkview Hospital, St Thomas More Hospital (Canon City), and Flight for Life, to name a few.
We are having our 2nd annual fundraising dinner and auction on October 2nd, 2009. We are looking for a well known speaker to pack in the people from southern Colorado. We need this event in order to raise money for our next mission trip to Gonaives in January 2010 and to finish building the clinic which is coming out of the ground and to ship our donated medical supplies and equipment there on sea containers.
Stay tuned for further news…