What has your charity done in Haiti?
Within 48 hours of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010, an AmeriCares emergency response team was on the ground assessing needs. Three days later, our first airlift landed carrying more than $6.7 million in medicines and medical supplies. The AmeriCares team immediately began putting this lifesaving aid directly into the hands of the doctors and nurses working to treat survivors. To date, AmeriCares has delivered and distributed more than $40 million in medical assistance to more than 75 health care facilities and providing mover 200 volunteer medical teams traveling to Haiti with the medicines and medical supplies they need to treat patients. Our work includes meeting urgent health needs, including distributing lifesaving aid to help treat patients suffering from cholera, while investing in long-term programs to help rebuild the country’s health care system.
To read about our current Haiti relief efforts, visit www.americares.org.
To read an account from the early days, visit voices from the field http://www.americares.org/newsroom/voices-from-the-field/relief_worker_blog_report_from_haiti.html.
To read about our history in Haiti, visit the Haiti country page http://www.americares.org/wherewework/caribbean/haiti-help-aid-medical-care.html.
What are the outcomes (immediate results) of your efforts in Haiti?
AmeriCares has distributed medical assistance to a network of more than 90 health care partners, including hospitals, health clinics and community based facilities throughout Haiti. Our support for other health programs and initiatives also includes:
- Supporting volunteer medical personnel and expanding capacity at the HUEH Hospital in Port-au-Prince;
- Increasing access to chronic disease treatments, including the support of mobile clinics treating diabetic patients;
- Supporting community-based health programs;
- Assisting survivors of amputations by providing transportation to ensure they receive proper follow-up care;
- Emergency food and nutritional supplement procurement;
- Purchasing ambulances for transporting expectant women to help reduce infant and maternal mortality;
- Establishing a transitional field hospital providing operating and recovery rooms for St. Francois de Sales Hospital;
- Protecting adolescent girls;
- Supporting over 200 volunteer medical teams traveling to Haiti to help increase access to health care and medical treatments;
- Delivering lifesaving aid in response to the deadly cholera outbreak.
To read more about AmeriCares programs and initiatives, visit the News Page http://www.americares.org/newsroom/news/?related_regional=caribbean.
To read about our work to combat cholera, read a Haiti Impact story. http://www.americares.org/newsroom/news/impact-in-haiti-americares-tomas-cholera-medicines.html.
Based on your outcomes thus far, has your charity adjusted its course of action to improve the results?
AmeriCares started out with a strategy to partner with large established NGOs operating in Port-au-Prince. AmeriCares has been delivering medical assistance to Haiti since 1984 and had established partnerships in place before the earthquake. As the magnitude of the earthquake unfolded we found we could be more agile and have a greater impact by working with small Haitian-based health care groups both in Port-au-Prince and in other parts of the country, including Jérémie, Léogâne and Cap-Haïtien. Our work continues today with partnerships with local hospitals and clinics, Haitian grassroots organizations and international aid organizations treating the people of Haiti. We were constantly asking for feedback from doctors, hospital administrators and other public health professionals so we could modify our medical assistance and deliver the medicines and supplies they most needed at any given time. We modified actual material aid based on their feedback. AmeriCares implemented a strategy where we combined donated medicines and supplies with small cash grants to maximize impact. Our results have shown a dramatic increase in access to health care and medicines for communities hosting displaced rural earthquake survivors.
For more information on our continuing work in Haiti, visit our recent news section: http://www.americares.org/newsroom/news/deadly-earthquake-strikes-haiti-2010.html.
Is your charity planning to continue to provide assistance to Haiti in the coming months and years? If so, please explain your plans.
With Haiti still in a very fragile state, our work is far from over. AmeriCares has established an office in Port-au-Prince from which we are continuing to deliver medical assistance and helping rebuild the country’s health care system. We are also developing plans to address the health needs of the country’s most vulnerable populations, such as co-founding a program for adolescent girls to empower and protect them by establishing safe spaces throughout the country. In the months and years ahead, AmeriCares will focus on providing aid for maternal and child health, rehabilitating hospitals and health clinics, increasing access to health care and medical treatments, and establishing training and education programs for health care workers. While our Haiti earthquake relief efforts will continue over the next 2-3 years focusing on our work in the health sector, AmeriCares will continue to meet the health care needs of the Haitian people indefinitely through the ongoing delivery and distribution of medicines and medical supplies to a network of health care partners throughout the country. To read more about our past work with our partners in Haiti, visit our Haiti country page. http://www.americares.org/wherewework/caribbean/haiti-help-aid-medical-care.html#_medical_humanitarian_aid_haiti
What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenges facing the people of Haiti in the years to come? Do you have suggestions for how to address these challenges both via your own organization and through the efforts of others?
AmeriCares will continue its work delivering and distributing medicines and medical supplies to our network of health care partners. We have established an office in Port-au-Prince and our warehouse will continue to serve as a critical hub for distributing aid throughout the country. We are also developing programs to help rebuild the country’s health care system and address the needs of Haiti’s most vulnerable populations, including adolescent girls; mothers and newborns; medications for people living with chronic diseases, such as diabetes; establishing training and education programs for health care workers; and increasing access to health care and medical treatments. With the recent elections, it is imperative that the newly elected government get down to the business of reconstruction in Port-au-Prince. It will be essential to keep plans in place (plans sponsored by the current government and its international partners) to encourage and accelerate the depopulation of internally displaced populations (IDP) camps.
Have you been able to coordinate and pool your efforts with other organizations?
AmeriCares work is predicated on partnerships. We work closely with our health care partners on the ground to ensure we deliver the right medicines to the right people at the right time. Our partners include hospitals, clinics and community health organizations, as well as international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and government ministries. They help us assess the health care priorities so we can deliver the medicines and supplies they need the most. Our partnerships in Haiti have been critical to helping address the urgent medical needs and develop programs to help rebuild the country and help the people of Haiti live longer, healthier lives. We also work closely with pharmaceutical companies and medical supply manufacturers who donate essential products while we work with our financial donors to raise the funding necessary to deliver and distribute the products around the world. AmeriCares gift-in-kind model is time-tested, experience-driven and allows us to maximize every donation we receive. Historically, for every $100 donate, AmeriCares is able to deliver more than $3,500 in humanitarian relief to people in need, including medicines, medical supplies, nutritional supplements and other vital aid.