Improving health worker safety in Haiti

Food For The Poor is a longtime partner of Heart to Heart International (HHI), with HHI distributing medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to the organization as it works to care for children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America.

Food For The Poor began working to help poverty-stricken children and families in Haiti in1986. Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere with close to 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

H.E.L.P., Inc. is a Haitian medical center that sees approximately 21,500 patients from incredibly vulnerable neighborhoods each year. The center offers many medical services, and Dr. Michel Henry Brutus, the founder/CEO of the center, was grateful to receive a donation of medical supplies, including sharps containers, from Heart to Heart International and distributed through Food For The Poor.

Although the Haitian Ministry of Health focuses on treatment of infectious diseases, it is up to the hospitals to obtain the materials necessary for disease prevention. This not only entails staff education and training, but above all, the proper equipment to manage and dispose of hazardous wastes and sharp objects such as needles.

“For now, there are no real statistics on the rate of accidental blood exposure among health care workers, but by all accounts, many people get stuck with needles due to lack of adequate equipment or unsuitable materials,” explained FFTP’s in-country partner representative, Reginald Jean Gilles. “These gallon containers in lightweight plastic for collecting sharp medical supplies are a necessity in any medical facility, and we are most grateful for this donation that has made it possible for us to make this distribution in Haiti.”

“Blood-exposure accidents represent a real danger for health care personnel. Exposure to HIV and hepatitis is common here,” Gilles added. “In addition to the medical care received by the patient, prevention is extremely important, and this donation addresses this important issue.”

“Thanks to the generous donation of medical supplies that included sharps containers, we are now better equipped to care for our patients,” Dr. Michel Henry Brutus said. “Medical waste management is a step toward quality in health care.”

This shipment to Food For The Poor in Haiti was one of the 726 shipments of medical supplies, medicines and humanitarian aid Heart to Heart International sent to 264 organizations working in 19 countries, 40 states and 1 U.S. territory in 2021.

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