Health Workers Rescue Ailing Mother and Child

Mélianne 2

 

story by INDRA SORIA
Communications & Fundraising Officer

 

Sometimes a helping hand reaches out at just the right moment.

In southeast Haiti, a young woman and her baby girl fell ill.  Both needed to be seen by a doctor, but 18 year old Mélianne was struggling to find help for herself and Robancia, her seven month old child. Not knowing where to turn, Mélianne chose to take natural medicine to alleviate the illness.  It didn’t work.

Weeks passed and the baby was fading, so too Mélianne.  She did approach a clinic but the lines were long and the lab tests were just too expensive.  So Mélianne continued to seek help from her mother, hoping that herbal remedies would work.  Her condition, along with the child’s, worsened.  The situation was dire and both likely would have perished had HHI’s community agents not come to her village and found them both in a critical condition.

Mélianne 1

 

These Multidisciplinary Community Agents are part of Kore Fanmi – a joint project between Heart to Heart International, the Government of Haiti and UNICEF.  The overall job of the CHWs is to connect people living in the remote and rugged southeast of Haiti with existing community services, including health care.  Most recently, these agents have been criss-crossing the mountains of southeast Haiti providing aid in border camps and educating communities about the arrival of the Zika virus.

On a recent community visit, agents discovered Mélianne and Robancia.  Acting quickly, they brought both to a health clinic to be seen immediately by medical staff and arranged for the lab testing to be done for free.

Both mother and child were found to be suffering from severe malnutrition.

Mélianne 3

 

The clinic staff did a full check up and ran additional tests for tuberculosis and other infectious diseases that are common in Haiti.  In addition, mother and child were put into a nutrition program.

The outcome for Mélianne and her baby would have been quite different had the agents not paid a visit to the village and found the mother and child in time.

 

HHI’s Multidisciplinary Community Agents in Haiti work every day to provide access to healthcare for mothers like Mélianne and so many others.

Support their work. Donate.

 

 

 

 

Nearly Finished School Excites in Haiti

As part of our Community Development work in the remote southeast of Haiti, we’ve been helping to coordinate the building of a school in Cascade Pichon.
Now, the school is partially open and should be completed before the year is out.

CP School #1

We recently featured this school and our development work underway in Cascade Pichon, along with the impression this new school is having on the children of this community.  Here are a couple of excerpts from that story:

10-year-old Deswin says to me, “This is going to be the best school in all of Pichon.”   I thought to myself, “Well, that can’t be too difficult… the school you have now is a tiny one-room building with overflow benches outside under a tarp that has seen better days. The school is so small that hundreds of children don’t go to school because there is simply no room.”

In 2013, the Cascade Pichon Federation decided it was time to start addressing the next big need – Education.  The federation purchased land for the school and then, through building partnerships, Heart to Heart International helped to facilitate the building of the school, working in coordination with the Haitian government which has agreed to send teachers to instruct the children.

Two classrooms are finished and open to students and four more are still being finished. A few days ago, a mini dedication took place for those who are backing the building of the school – an anonymous foundation and the Mid-America Nazarene University – and was attended by a large number of school-children who are using, and who will use, this school.  Check out all those kids in the photo below!

CP School Children Walking

According to Wes Comfort, our deputy director of programs in Haiti, “The community is beyond excited, the kids are smiling ear to ear, and families are excited that their children will be able to get a sound education in a proper school without having to leave the community to go to Belle-Anse, Jacmel, or even Port-au-Prince.”

This is progress.  This is good.

 

 

To Help the Most Vulnerable in Haiti

Heart to Heart International is currently working with UNICEF on a program entitled Kore Fanmi  in the southeast of Haiti – a multi-phase, multi-year project to connect remote communities and families with basic medical and other services.

UNICEF recently featured the Kore Fanmi program (see below for excerpts) and the technology used to survey those living in the most difficult-to-reach areas.

(c) UNICEF Haiti/2014/Nybo

A Heart to Heart International community agent, along with a UNICEF representative, conducts a survey in a remote area of Haiti. Photo courtesy: UNICEF Haiti/2014/Nybo

 

Thomas Nybo reported the story for UNICEF:
Bertha Pierre is a 49-year-old grandmother living high atop a mountain in a one-room shack with five family members. Their hut is a three-hour hike from the nearest town, and the family has called it home since a flood destroyed their house a year ago.

“Life has just been very difficult since last year, May 23rd,” she says. “That’s when we were hit with a flood that washed away all the topsoil, and killed all our farm animals. Since then, it has been very difficult to make ends meet. We have nothing. We have no land and we have no animals.”

But, a pilot programme is being launched with the aim of improving the lives of people just like her: the most-vulnerable Haitians, living in the hardest-to-reach areas. It’s called “Kore Fanmi” — which means “family support” in Haitian Creole. It’s a programme of the government of Haiti, which was started two years ago in partnership with the World Bank and UNICEF.

Heart to Heart International is implementing the plan on the ground.  For months, community agents organized by HHI traveled the roads and paths through the mountains of SE Haiti interviewing people and documenting the needs of families household by household.
HHI’s Samuel Desruisseaux, who is the Kore Fanmi Communal Coordinator for the Anse-a-Pitres area, is quoted in the story:

“…one of the positive impacts I’ve already seen, during the socio-economic survey, once the community understood the point of Kore Fanmi, to reach the most vulnerable, they went to find other families, to make sure everybody was included,” he says. “They refused to let anybody be excluded. The community is very motivated. They see it as their programme, and it will bring a lot of positive change.”

kore_fanmi_10

Data collection during a Kore Fanmi survey is captured on a tablet. Photo courtesy: UNICEF Haiti/2014/Nybo

Access the full story at UNICEF Connect to learn more about the Kore Fanmi program & the technology used to reach these vulnerable populations in some of the most remote areas of Haiti.