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Immediately following the devastating January 12th earthquake, Project HOPE sent more than 100 volunteer doctors, nurses and medical technicians and delivered more than $60 million of medicines and medical supplies to Haiti.
HOPE continued to work in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake and during the subsequent cholera outbreaks with volunteer help, medicines and initiatives for long-term recovery.
HOPE sent a team of international cholera experts to train Haitian health care professionals to better care for and manage the rapidly growing number of patients suffering from cholera during the initial onset in the Fall of 2010. The eight-person team from the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) identified the origin of the cholera strain (Nepalese) – as documented in an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine titled, “The Origin of the Haitian Cholera Outbreak Strain.”
Other groups of Project HOPE volunteers continued to support efforts to contain and eliminate outbreak of cholera, working at the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles. In addition, Project HOPE delivered nearly $200,000 of medical supplies to the city of Desdunes, located in the Artibonite River Valley, the site of the first major outbreak of cholera in more than a century in Haiti.
Building Rehab Program for Long-Term Care
Building on prior experience providing rehabilitation services in the aftermath of earthquakes in Armenia (1988), Turkey (1999), and China (2008), Project HOPE’s long term response in Haiti has been to establish the country’s first free, comprehensive rehab and prosthetic facility for amputee victims. The Rehabilitation Center is known as “Chanje Lavi,” which means “Changing Lives” in Creole. Project HOPE and its partners established the facility, comprised of three modular buildings, to provide prosthetic limbs and physical therapy to those injured.
In addition, local Haitians were employed by the builders and taught skills to position them for the housing initiatives anticipated as rebuilding efforts increase. Equipped with ramps and accessible bathrooms, the Center was deemed a model of accessibility by the national Disabilities Department.
Since its opening, the Chanje Lavi Rehab center has treated 4,000 patients and it is now managed locally.
Integrated Emergency Medical Care Development
Project HOPE has begun an Emergency Medical Care Development Program to strengthen health outcomes for time-dependent, emergency medical conditions, training professionals and laypersons to effectively respond to emergency medical conditions at both the clinical and prehospital level.