Surgical Volunteers International (SVI) is an organization that specializes in treating clefts, burns and urological problems. SVI visited Haiti in March and worked with Haitian counterparts to reconstruct, without charge, 67 cleft lips and palates. SVI will travel to Haiti in June and again in September. If you know of a Haitian child in need of surgery for a cleft lip or palate, please pass on the contact information contained in the attached flyer (in Kreyol) to his/her family. Below is a summary of their last visit from the SVI Blog.
Below is a post from "The Cable", confirming rumors that Paul Farmer is considering a position in the Obama Administration. The position is as of yet unclear. It may be USAID Administrator or a new position coordinating U.S. Global Health programs. Partners in Health has had a tremendous impact in Haiti, Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere. As a champion of health and human rights, Farmer's vision and expertise would be an asset to the Obama Administration.
JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. is a health research/consulting firm dedicated to improving the health of individuals and communities worldwide. JSI visited Haiti in January 2009 to identify gaps in the availability and accessibility of reproductive health (RH) services and to assess community responses for strengthening quality, accessibility and availability. Reproductive health is a social issue, a public health issue, a human rights issue, a security issue, and one that is important for countries that are fragile, stable, or in Haiti's case, teetering in between. The report is attached and deserves to be widely read.
According to Jonathan Katz, public health workers plan to vaccinate some 1 million women and children this week around Haiti's capital after delays exacerbated by food riots and hurricanes. The effort marks the second phase of an international goal to immunize 5.6 million Haitian children - more than half the country's population - against diseases like polio, measles and rubella.
World TB Day was on March 24. If this were a blog about HIV/AIDS, I could write about the progress that Haiti and the rest of the world is making. However, this is a blog on tuberculosis and a fight we are losing. More than two billion people, one third of the world’s total population, are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB. People living with HIV are at greater risk. For Haiti, much more remains to be done.
Every March 22nd since 1992 has been World Water Day. This year's theme is "Shared Waters and Shared Opportunities." 4,200 children die each day from preventable water-borne disease. Responding is not just a moral imperative, but sound economics. For each dollar spent on water and sanitation projects, the projected return on investment is from $3 to $34. For too many of us, a glass of contaminated water can mean the difference between life and death. You can help change this by taking part in the TAP Project during World Water Week.
The Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) is a non-profit, humanitarian organization created to meet the health and development needs of sugar cane workers, most of them Haitian, in the Dominican Republic. BRA recently announced that they will expand operations into Haiti itself. Given the interest of the Haitian and Dominican governments in cross-border collaboration, this is a timely expansion and we hope that it willl be a success. The press release is below.
Each year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awards a single organzation one million dollars for its contributions to global health. A list of this year's nominees can be found here. Five of these nominees are organizations active in Haiti. I am familiar with, and very much respect the work of, FOSREF, GHESKIO, and Partners in Health. If you know of the other two organizations listed, please feel free to provide information in the comments section below. Once the awardee has been selected, we will post it as well.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is very active in Haiti, particularly in the sectors of water/sanitation and nutrition. UNICEF recently released their annual Humanitarian Action Report. It is intended for donors, but if you are interested in knowing what UNICEF did in Haiti during 2008 and seeks to accomplish in 2009, this is a good place to start. The Haiti section is copied below.
Below is a blog concerning Smile Train, an organization that works with health care providers throughout the developing world to repair cleft lips and palates. Smile Train will send a Surgical Volunteers International Team to Port au Prince from February 27- March 7. While there, the team will both perform surgeries and teach local surgeons to do the same. This approach is cost-effective and builds local capacity. If you or a colleagues knows of a Haitian child with a cleft, please contact Smile Train and Surgical Volunteers International prior to the trip.