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. Water borne disease is prevalent. 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 the communities where new Haitian Brethren congregations are located. This work is a partnership with Eglise des Freres de Haiti (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti), which has 20 congregations serving about 3,000 participants.
The initial phase of Haiti Medical Project was to provide mobile clinics led by an all-Haitian team of doctors, nurses and support personnel that serves our related communities. Local Brethren congregations provide pre-screening and logistical support. Beginning with 16 clinics in 2012, the clinic ministry now provides about 48 clinics annually, serving about 8,000 persons (an average of over 165 per clinic.)
Building on the success of the mobile clinics, in 2015 Haiti Medical Project added a second major dimension—a Community Development Team addressing longer-term issues of sanitation/community health, high mortality rates, and inadequate nutrition.
Currently the Community Development Team consists of four community field workers, two maternal care nurses, two part-time school nurses, and a translator. Through it we offer programs in pure water development, maternal care, health education, family income enhancement, and food sustainability.
Haiti Medical Project operates with a non-traditional, grass roots financial plan—relying primarily on designated gifts of congregations and individuals to a fund for immediate project support or to a growing endowment fund.