Except for the work of FLM-Haiti and a few other non-profit organizations receiving funding from outside the country, Haitian health care is essentially a privilege for the wealthy citizens of that poor country.
Beginning in 2001, FLM-Haiti volunteers began to take health care to the people in the communities of Thomassin, Laboule, Boutiliers, and Kenscoff, trekking up the mountainside with heavy bags of medicines and supplies. In this way, the people of those communities became familiar with our organization and looked forward to receiving health care from us.
Our dedication to health care gained a permanent base in July 2009 with dedication of the House of David Community Health Center. The founding of this clinic represented a significant milestone in the development of FLM-Haiti’s service to the people of Haiti. The House of David, which is dedicated to the memory of David Robinson who gave tireless hours of service to FLM-Haiti’s work, is staffed by a doctor, two nurses, a pharmacist, lab technician, and dentist.
The clinic provides rooms to see patients, as well as spaces devoted to health education and special clinics staffed by the volunteer doctors and medical personnel who dedicate their skills during missions twice a year. The week-long clinics heal the wounds and safeguard the health of hundreds of people who attend them. Our pharmacy provides a vital supply of medicines in the highland communities where our work ameliorates a condition of extreme impoverishment for the people living there. They clinic provided care for many people injured and traumatized by the catastrophe.
Our visiting medical teams extend the quality of year round health care offered through the clinic. They have set up a pilot program for ongoing treatment of patients with high blood pressure, a very serious epidemic affecting thousands of young Haitian mothers as well as the elderly. The teams provide annual health screenings to 600 students in our school. They offer ophthalmological exams and obtain donations of spectacles in communities where eye problems are endemic. They teach and provide dental hygiene. They offer specialized knowledge for consultations on difficult medical cases.
Since the earthquake, FLM has taken three medical and educational teams to Haiti. We provided seminars to help our constituents cope with the psychological impact of the earthquake. Over two hundred women had the opportunity to talk about women’s health issues and receive filters for water purification to fight the cholera outbreak.
We continue to dream about a better and healthier Haiti. We believe that Haiti will rise again. She will need strong citizens who have the knowledge to maximize their health under difficult circumstances. We will do our best to provide them with the care and knowledge they need.