This past weekend we invited Dr. Patrick Almazor of Partners in Health to visit Greenwich. We wanted to give him a check from our church mission committee and to hear an update on the important work they are doing. Where did all the money go? Is the question on everyone’s lips when it comes to Haiti. I probably hear it more often since many people know I support Haiti through Partners in Health.
The money given to charities has been, and is being spent. on saving lives. The money promised by world governments, including our own, has never made it to Haiti. Without funding it has been difficult for the government to clear the rubble and resettle the many people displaced by the earthquake. However, they have been working at a steady pace and are making progress
Dr. Almazor has been working in St. Marc, an area that was considered the epicenter of the cholera outbreak. You might have seen him interviewed on CNN about the situation. We were blessed to have him spend time with us and share the progress being made by Partners in Health.
The day I met him in Haiti last year we were standing in the courtyard discussing his hospital when a road accident victim was rushed in by pick up truck. I immediately went to help (I don’t know why) and Dr. Almazor gently touched my arm to let me know that there was no helping, the young man was already dead.
There are many reasons to be hopeful two years after the earthquake, here are a few.
1. They are finally able to roll out a cholera vaccine next month in the hardest hit areas. There has always been a vaccine but since it was rarely used, there was almost no supply They are hoping that between the vaccine and aggressive education about clean water, they can turn the tide of this epidemic.
2. They are building a state of the art hospital in Mirebalais that will rival any first rate hospital in the US. In addition to providing first world care, this new hospital will have training capacity to replace the nursing school that was crushed in the earthquake.
3. Partners in Health is building a new Maternity and Child Health center in St. Marc. The money our mission committee gave will buy all of the cribs and equipment to outfit the new center. Currently they deliver 400 babies per month, moms spend an average of 6 hours at the hospital due to lack of space.
Traveling Mom is hoping to launch a series of stories about moms in the developing world and will be working with Partners in Health to tell these stories.
This is a video I made after my first trip to Haiti from the photos I took. It might help to give some perspective on the challenges they face, and we face as we stand beside them.