Adopt A Village

Expanding Health Care in Haiti
Through Community Health Centers

About St. Joseph Clinic

In 1998, a team of doctors and nurses from Medical Missionaries visited Thomassique, Haiti, and learned that the more than 100,000 residents of the area had no permanent health care services. Ever since then, Medical Missionaries has sent teams of doctors and nurses each year to care for the sick of Thomassique.

In 2007, Medical Missionaries opened St. Joseph Clinic, the first permanent medical facility in the region. Staffed by 30 Haitian medical professionals and support staff, the Clinic treats about 25,000 patients each year and facilitates 500 births.

 Medical Missionaries St. Joseph Clinic, Haiti

The Need For Extending Healthcare to Outlying Villages

St. Joseph Clinic currently provides many healthcare services: medical care and testing, 24/7 Emergency Room Service, Maternity and Infant Care Program, Surgery and Dental Care by visiting medical teams, Medika Mamba Program (Malnutrition), Klorfasil (Water Purfication), Bon Sel (Fortified Salt), and education programs.

But local residents from outlying villages need to walk for 2 to 6 hours to get to the Clinic for even the most basic medical care (there are no cars, and only a few families have the luxury of a mule).

In 2010, Medical Missionaries started building a healthcare infrastructure in six outlying villages to provide care to people closer to where they live.

Each of those villages now has a healthcare program tied in to St. Joseph Clinic.

But they need your support for the next three years to help them integrate the program into the fabric of their communities.

 Medical Care in Rural Haiti

Healthy Moms and Babies in Haiti

Bringing Healthcare To The Outlying Villages

The health programs in the outlying villages are extensions of the services provided by St. Joseph Clinic and are tied closely to the Clinic.  Each local program consists of a Community Health Center (CHC), a small facility providing basic health care, a Community Health Worker (CHW) trained by Clinic staff and the Haitian Ministry of Health, and a Community Health Committee to oversee the community health program.

Each Community Health Center provides:

  • Malnourished Child in HaitiFirst Aid: Provided by the CHW, who refers more complicated cases to the Clinic.
  • Health Education: Sessions on topics including water safety, cholera, nutrition, maternal health, and good hygiene practices.
  • Water Purification Program: Promoting a purification system (Klorfasil) to help every household prevent water-borne illnesses.
  • Extended Maternity Program: 2 to 4 trained traditional birth attendants (Matwons) in each village help women deliver safely at home and transport complicated cases to the Clinic for specialized care.
  • Mobile Clinics: A doctor and nurse or midwife visit one village each week to provide medical care.
  • Bon Sel: Fortified salt program to eradicate lymphatic filariasis and delayed brain development.
  • Malnutrition Program: Screening of children for the Clinic's nutritional supplement (Medika Mamba) program.

An Invitation To Adopt A Village

We are now seeking supporters to "adopt" a village for the next three years, and support their community health programs while they work towards the goal of achieving self-sufficiency.

What we ask of our partners:

  • Medical Missionaries School Lunch ProgramA commitment to support the Community Health Center in one village for three years, at $9,000 per year
  • To designate a contact person to stay in touch about the village health program
  • To inform your constituents about the good work you are doing to help the village have improved health care

What we promise to our partners:

  • Your donated funds will be used exclusively for the Adopt-A-Village program
  • We will give you a profile of your adopted village and its health program
  • We will provide a quarterly update on health activities in the village
  • Your support will be recognized at the annual Medical Missionaries Spring fundraiser
  • We invite you to visit your adopted village to observe the progress for yourself

For further information about this program, and to learn more about participating, or if you know of a church, community or professional group that might partner with us, please contact Medical Missionaries Board of Directors Member Peter Dirr at PeterDirr@gmail.com or (571) 239-6380.

To make your personal donation now, please visit our Adopt a Village Contribution Page
.

We invite you to learn more about this project and the villages by downloading our "Adopt A Village" book (PDF),
and scrolling down to see profiles of each village below.

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Baranque

 

Flooded Dirt Road in Rural Haiti

a-Community Health Center in Baranque, Haiti

Community Health Worker in Rural Haiti

Baranque is a village of about 6,000 residents, located 6 to 8 miles by dirt road from St. Joseph Clinic. Villagers need to walk for 2 to 4 hours to get to the Clinic. Rain often makes this road impassible.

Baranque's Community Health Center currently occupies a donated church building. (The village may need to build a new Center in coming years.) Since 2010, St. Joseph Clinic has been working with Baranque's Community Health Committee to run monthly mobile clinics and implement health projects that address issues including water purification, malnutrition, and maternal health.

Programs are led by Community Health Worker (CHW) Jude Dubuisson, a dedicated health worker who is especially proud of the Klorfasil (water purification) and maternal transport programs which he oversees.

The Baranque Community Health Committee is an energetic group committed to improving health in their community. They meet several times a month to review ongoing projects.


Needs and future goals:

Goals for the next three years in the Baranque community include continued support and expansion of current programs to ensure that families have access to life-saving medical care, health education, and community health projects, and the hope of building a new Community Health Center.

 

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Bouloume

 

Bouloume is a spread out village of approximately 6,000 to 7,000 people located about 8 to 10 miles from Thomassique, a 2 to 4 hour walk from St. Joseph Clinic on rough, frequently washed-out roads.

The health center is currently located in a building owned by the Catholic Church.

Bouloume relies mostly on contaminated run-off water. There is a single hand pump with potable water, but nearby contaminated streams and rivers such as the one pictured here continue to be a main source of water for families. Sanitation remains an ongoing issue since few households have access to latrines.

Bouloume's Community Health Committee is led by their Community Health Worker, Jean Relus. A dedicated health worker, in addition to conducting education sessions and home visits, Jean also led a project to improve health through building 2 community latrines (a project that was supported, in part, by a Medical Missionaries donor).

Jean also manages a very democratic and representative health committee that is dedicated to identifying the community's needs, particularly maternal health issues, and developing plans to meet those needs.


Needs and future goals:


Building their own health center is a priority for the people of Bouloume in the coming year. The Committee is also eager to take on new projects, and volunteered to lead the Clinic's first village-based vaccination campaign.

Medical Missionaries Medical Clinic in Rural Haiti

Health Education Session in Rural Haiti

Community Health in Rural Haiti


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 Savane Platte

 

Local Community Health Center in Rural Haiti

Community Health Committee in Savane Platte, Haiti

b-Community Health Worker in Savane Platte, rural Haiti

Although Savane Platte is one of the closest villages to St. Joseph's Clinic (about 8 miles and just off the main road), the need for community health programs remains high. With a population of about 7,000, its households are scattered over a wide area.

Water sources are limited to a few hand-pumps, which do not produce enough water to meet the community's needs, so villagers use the nearby river. All the water sources are contaminated.

Savane Platte's Community Health Committee has accomplished a lot in the past year. Led by Committee president Solon Bel-Enfant, they were the first community to construct their own health center, with partial support from Medical Missionaries.

Mis Ania Mervilus, a trained nurse, was nominated by her community to serve as Savane Platte's Community Health Worker, and has been instrumental in gaining community support.


Needs and future goals:


The goals of the Savane Platte Committee are to strengthen its programs in the upcoming year, with a focus on increasing the use of Klorfasil (water purification) and transport stipends for pregnant women to get to the Clinic. In the long-term, they hope to build partnerships with organizations that would enable them to construct latrines throughout the community to improve sanitation.


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Dahlegrand

 

Located 6 to 8 miles away from St. Joseph Clinic, Dahlegrand is one of the most compact villages that we work with, with over 6,000 people living in a relatively concentrated area. The village lies at the foot of the tall mountains which border the Central Plateau, providing beautiful scenery.

The Community Health Center is currently limited to a small room on temporary loan. The Committee hopes to secure land and build a permanent health center.

For sources of water, Dahlegrand has a few pumps (shown), but since they don't produce enough water for the entire community, villagers use nearby streams for water.

Marie Madeline Dorcelus, Dahlegrand's Community Health Worker, is a trained nurse who has been a CHW for Medical Missionaries from the very start of the Community Health Center program. As a recent mother herself, she is acutely aware of the need to improve maternal and infant health. Working with the Community Health Committee, she has been instrumental in expanding new programs.

Needs and future goals:

Dahelgrand's Community Health Committee, aware of the ways in which the community remains underserved, is eager to expand the services to bring health services closer to their residents.

 

Dirt Road in rural Haiti

Unsafe Water Source in Rural Haiti

Community Health Committee in Dahlegrand, Haiti


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 Nan Croix

 

Mobile Health Clinic in rural Haiti

Medical Missionaries Community Health Worker

Bacbanique Safe Water Committee in rural Haiti

Nan Croix is the newest Community Health Program to be started. The Community Health Center is located in a one-room facility that is too small for our monthly mobile clinic. So, the clinic is held in the village's new church. The old church (pictured) serves as the waiting room for the mobile clinic.

Nan Croix is one of the farthest communities from the Clinic, reachable only via a rough road that turns to mud and often becomes impassable during the rainy season.

Its population of about 6,000 is spread thinly over a wide area. Mobile clinics here often see over a hundred patients, since traveling to the Clinic is so difficult.

Nan Croix's Community Health Worker, Mis Remy Pauline, joined St. Joseph Clinic in January 2013. After working as a nurse in Santo Domingo, she moved back to her hometown to take care of her aging father. She is a tenacious leader, willing to work through challenging conditions and numerous setbacks to establish a successful committee.

Nan Croix had suffered from high rates of cholera, and Mis Pauline has helped to greatly reduce the incidence of cholera by expanding the use of Klorfasil (water purification) and other health programs.

Nan Croix has an active Community Health Committee that is committed to helping all the residents of the village develop habits, such as good hygiene and using only purified water, that will help prevent common diseases.


Needs and future goals:


A recent move into a new Community Health Center better equips Mis Pauline to see patients, make referrals to the Clinic, and oversee programs like Klorfasil and Bon Sel (fortified salt). The Nan Croix Committee is excited to continue to expand these programs in the upcoming year.

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Bacbanique

 

Bacbanique is a large town with a population of about 25,000, located near the Haitian-Dominican border, and about 10 to 12 miles away from the Clinic. It is accessible via a difficult, often impassible, dirt road.

The photo (left) shows the condition of the main road, with a huge crater, and highlights why it is often so difficult to reach the outlying villages.

The Haitian government runs a small dispensary staffed by an auxiliary nurse, which has been this community's sole source of medical care, other than traveling to St. Joseph Clinic or a Dominican hospital. (The government had built a hospital here, but after the 2010 earthquake, funds were diverted and the hospital is currently empty and abandoned.)

Medical Missionaries founded a Water Committee here in 2012. Led by Mavenes Borgelas, they work to educate villagers about proper hygiene, and distribute Klorfasil water purification systems. More recently they have started a Bon Sel program (fortified salt). Two local matwon (traditonal birthing attendants) also received training at St. Joseph Clinic.


Needs and future goals:


The Bacbanique Water Committee recognizes the tremendous need for health programs in this village, and is eager to expand their work, particularly to participate in mobile clinics and provide a maternity program. The Committee hopes to work in partnership with St. Joseph Clinic to eventually train their own Community Health Worker.

Typical Road in Rural Haiti

Health Education Session in Haiti

Community Health Worker in Haiti

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For more information, download our "Adopt A Village" book (PDF)

To learn more about how you can help, or if you know of a church, community or professional group that might partner with us, please contact Medical Missionaries Board of Directors Member Peter Dirr at PeterDirr@gmail.com or (571) 239-6380.

 

  You Can Help Medical Missionaries: Donate now to support our clinic or health related projects;  Form a Medical Missionaries Chapter in your area;  Volunteer to help in the U.S. or abroad.

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Medical Missionaries' partners in improving health

 
 
Project Hope
 
 
 

Feed My Starving Children

 Meds & Food for Kids

 Project Hope

 Catholic Medical
Mission Board

 Klorfasil

 Vitamin Angels  


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