Persons living in most communities in Haiti have almost no opportunity to see a physician and cannot afford hospital care. As a result, health care needs in Haiti are acute. The incidence of infectious disease is elevated. Few births are attended by any trained provider. Infant and maternal mortality are high.
Beginning in 2011 the Church of the Brethren has been sponsoring the Haiti Medical Project as a way to begin to meet these needs in some of the communities where new Haitian Brethren congregations are located. The Haitian Brethren national board provides counsel. Local congregations partner through pre-screening and arrangements. A Haitian team of doctors and nurses visits communities to provide mobile clinics, often seeing 150 or more patients on clinic day.
The Mobile Clinics have grown from 12 in 2012, to 24 in 2013 and to 48 beginning in 2014. By the end of 2014 the clinics have provided about 12,500 patient visits. They continue to be enthusiastically received by the local communities and the National Committee of the Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Church of the Brethren in Haiti.)
Beginning in 2015 a new focus on meeting long term health needs in related communities is a significant part of the Haiti Medical Project. A Community Development Team and contracted nurses will address issues in mid-wife training, pre and post natal education of pregnant women and nursing mothers, establishment of small community dispensaries operated by local volunteers and a new emphasis on enabling communities to secure clean drinking water.
Haiti Medical Project operates with a non-traditional, grass roots financial plan, relying entirely on designated gifts of congregations and individuals to support a fund for immediate support or to a growing endowment fund.