Merry Christmas from the Haiti Hospital Appeal! We want to take this opportunity to wish all our supporters the very best of seasons greetings. Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year, yet it can also hide us from the realities of life for the hurting and the broken, wherever they might be. For us, we seek to continue to bring hope and new life to the people of Haiti through health care services. It really has been an exciting year. Even today, construction continues on our site. Yet, we look to next year believing greater things are yet to come.
Life saving neo-natal training
A recent report by UNICEF, UN, WHO, and the World Bank highlighted that globally 70% of under 5 deaths occur in the first year of a babies life. The report states that ‘Neonatal mortality is increasingly important because the proportion of under-five deaths that occur during the neonatal period is increasing as under-five mortality declines…With the proportion of under-five deaths during the neonatal period increasing in every region and almost all countries, systematic action is required by governments and partners to reach women and babies with effective care.’
Perhaps most alarmingly, Haiti is one of the countries that has struggled the most to reach it’s millennium development goal in reducing child mortality. The report indicates that in 1990, the under 5 mortality rate in Haiti was 151 deaths per 1,000 live births, but by 2010 it was 165 deaths per 1,000 live births. Haiti had been set a target of reducing this rate to 50 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2015, but is one of a hand full of countries under-achieving its national goal, with an annual negative rate of reduction between 1990-2010 of -0.4%.
The completion of our new neo-natal unit couldn’t be more timely. Whilst we’ve been busy responding to the cholera epidemic and earthquake response, behind the scenes our team have also been working tirelessly to see our maternity and paediatric unit completed. With our final building just completed and two containers full of specialist equipment having arrived in Haiti in the last few month, we’re just about to start this vital service. Whilst we’ve been pulling the final logistical issues together, exciting developments have already been made.
In October we held intensive neo-natal training for our Haitian staff supporting over 25 Haitian medics. It was a privilege having two US volunteers here sharing their skills, and our staff responded with great enthusiasm and joy. These techniques being learnt will undoubtedly save lives! Whilst the statistics can be alarming, the reality is that it often only requires very simple prevention and intervention to dramatically decrease the risk of child mortality.
A few weeks ago we finally received a container of new maternity equipment. It is now being arranged and distributed into the different rooms. This is a dream come true, the equipment is one of the final hurdles, it had been stuck in customs a short while but now we can look forward to the new year and the opening finally and officially of the service. Dr Adlin our Maternity Director is so excited and with Dr Touissant, they are spending many hours planning for the service to start.
However, whilst our team are learning vital skills to save lives, we’re still in need of greater financial support to ensure their skills can be used affectively. Without the generous help of our supporters more lives will needlessly be lost.
This work needs your help if it is to succeed. Can you support it? If yes, please donate today. Thank you. Keep an eye out on our website for information about a few events taking place over the month of January. On the 12th we remember the 2nd year anniversary since the earthquake.
Thanks for all your continued help and support, we wish you a very happy new year. With love
All of the Haiti Hospital Appeal Team
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