Below is the latest semi-annual report from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) covering the period from August 31st - March 15th. The report provides an overview of key developments during this time, especially police capacity, rule of law, and human rights promotion - all of which need to be strengthened significantly before MINUSTAH can fully transition its responsibilities to the Haitian government.
Partners in Health (PIH) co-founder Thomas White passed away the morning of January 7th. Many lives have been saved, and the health of many communities improved, in Haiti and around the world, as a direct result of the financial support he provided to PIH throughout the years. While White will be missed, he leaves behind an inspirational legacy. Below is the PIH announcement of White's passing as well as a blog by author Tracy Kidder remembering him.
Groupe Haïtien d’Étude du Sarcome de Kaposi et des Infectieuses Opportunistes (GHESKIO) was selected as the 2010 winner of the prestigious Gates Award for Global Health. The honor is well-deserved given GHESKIO’s innovative clinical service, research, and training programs and rapid response in treating those injured during the earthquake. GHESKIO's leadership is needed more than ever as the Haitian health care system is reconstructed. The press release is below, a fact sheet and an interview with GHESKIO Director Bill Pape are attached, and finally click here to see the award ceremony.
Immediately after the earthquake, information came out of Haiti in a trickle. It is now more like a flood. As of February 3, the Government of Haiti (GOH) increased its death toll estimate to over 200,000. 300,000 are reported to have been injured, 250,000 homes destroyed, and 30,000 businesses disrupted. Assessments carried out by MINUSTAH now indicate a 15-20% population increase in the South, Grand Anse, Nippes, and Central Plateau departments due to displacement from Port-au-Prince. Below is a summary of where things stand in terms of emergency response and recovery.
Haiti Innovation was founded five years ago by four Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Haiti. We wanted to do this because we felt Haiti had given us more than we were able to give back during our two and a half years of service. This website has been a way for us to repay a debt - to Haitian colleagues, friends, and family who we learned from and have not forgotten. Haitians like to say that their country has teeth - it bites on to you and it doesn't let you go. Haiti has changed, we've changed, and the website has changed. But five years and 527 blogs later, Haiti still hasn't let go.
Below is an article by Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald concerning the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award recently given to Haitian born author Edwidge Danitcat. The prize, in an of itself a great honor, comes with $500,000. Her books include "Breath, Eyes, Memory", "Krik? Krak!", "The Farming of Bones", "Behind the Mountain", "The Dew Breaker", "Brother, I am Dying" and others. On the foundation website, you can read about her background and see a video clip where she discusses her work. Hopefully, a new generation of writers, in Haiti and its Diaspora, will be inspired by Edwidge's success and share their stories with the world.
There is a Haitian Proverb, “fanm se poto mitan.” It means that women are the central pole of life, they support society. Sadly, the maternal clinics in Port au Prince are not able to support the numbers of pregnant mothers seeking a safe facility to give birth in. Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald describes the under-resourced hospitals, their over-worked staff, and the negative impact on the health of women and children. As Paul Farmer notes in the article, ``…If you are really serious about reducing maternal mortality, you have to stay in the game a long time.'' You can read this and other Haiti related stories on the Miami Herald website. Then take a look at the short video and photos that convey the gravity of the situation.