The Urgent Need of Medical Care in Haiti
Updated: Jul 2, 2018
We had a very productive medical mission trip to Haiti in 2018. Even though we received medicine from the Muriel Gordon Foundation in Central Islip and a small pharmaceutical manufacturer in Haiti, we also bought $3000 worth of prescription drugs from a local pharmacy. The top re-requested medical services were dental, vision, and OB/GYN.
Haiti has struggled with poor health for generations. Haiti’s healthcare system was further debilitated by the 2010 earthquake which demolished 50 health centers, a major part of Haiti’s primary teaching hospital, and the Ministry of Health in Port-au-Prince. Haiti currently has about 1 hospital bed for every 1,000 Haitians and 1 doctor for every 4,000 Haitian according to the January 2016 Health Fact Sheet of USAID. The 2010 earthquake and subsequent heavy floods led to the first cholera outbreak in the country. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, significant challenges remain to increase access to and utilization of improved water and sanitation services that are key to improving health and well-being. That destruction exacerbated an existing lack of adequate health infrastructure, such as health care and storage facilities, as well as access to electricity, clean water and sanitation systems. Attracting and retaining qualified health professionals is a chronic struggle.
In view of such high demands for medical care, Monsignor Ducange Sylvain, the curator of a major hospital in Haiti, gathered the collaborations of Jean Y. Alfred, a dedicated Salesian Alumni President and VP of the organization I.D.H. Together we solicited the aid of various organizations, such as, Stony Brook Physician Assistants, The Muriel Gordon Foundation, The Lighthouse Tabernacle Church and various local donors to organize a medical mission fueled with medicine, medical & dental crew and the love for humanity.