Over the past 20 years, physicians, scientists and students at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have embarked upon medical missions to Haiti to provide medical assistance. Led by dedicated physicians like Dr. Barth Green, Dr. Arthur Fournier, and Dr. Michel Dodard, the Miller School has had a profound and lasting impact in Haiti. In 1994, these efforts culminated in the founding of Project Medishare for Haiti, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, whose purpose is to extend medical missions to ongoing integrated community health and development programs.
Project Medishare has joined forces with the Haitian Government (Ministry of Health, Agriculture, and Education) and local organizations such as Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante and World Vision to coordinate activities and to provide the most cost effective and sustainable programs to the communities served. Today, over 110,000 Haitians in the poorest rural region of Haiti, the Central Plateau, benefit from an Integrated Community Development Program including access to health, agriculture, education, and water & sanitation services.
In 2003, Project Medishare started a process to implement a community health program in Thomonde. This program was financed through a three-year grant from the Green Family Foundation. Today, Project Medishare has over 95 local staff of Haitian doctors, nurses, LPN’s, health agents, and administrative staff to provide this care. It includes managing the Ministry of Health clinic in Casse (Lahoye) and conducting a community health program with rally posts, mobile clinics, home visits, community meetings, vaccinations, nutritional monitoring, and providing oral rehydration solution, vitamin A, iron tablets, and anti-worm medication.
In 2009, our community health agents provided over 10,000 home visits and held over 430 “rally posts” where children were monitored for signs of malnutrition and received vaccinations.Our immunization rates in infants increased from 10% to 86%, and the number of pre-natal visits for pregnant women increased from no pre-natal visits to an average of three visits for each woman. Equally important, the mortality rate decreased among the population we serve from 698 deaths in the first year of the GFFI program to 483 in the third year.
In 2008, Project Medishare began collaborating with the Government of Haiti, The University of Florida Institute for Food & Agriculture Sciences (IFAS) and the community of Marmont to undertake an integrated community-driven development program. The activities focus on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), which are aligned with the government of Haiti’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan, and promoting human security in impoverished rural areas through community based investment and community based capacity building. The program is in the pre-implementation, scoping stages and activities have focused on health, agriculture and education.
At the onset, Project Medishare collected baseline data on health, agriculture and education in Marmont. Our organization developed a community health program based on the current program in Thomonde and manages the government clinic to provide preventive and curative care focusing on women and children. Additionally, we have built a Maternal Health Center and staff residence focusing on high-risk pregnancies. The center provides a full package of services of women’s health – reproductive health education & services, family planning, HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, and prevention of mother to child transmission (PTME). With technical assistance from University of Florida IFAS, Project Medishare agronomist and agriculture extension agents provide agriculture training at our demonstration farm and at local farms, seeds and tools to the community farmers of Marmont. All program interventions are integrated and activities are cross-sectoral and in partnership with several organizations/ agencies working in the region (World Vision, FAO, PIH/Zanmi Lasante).
About the Project Medishare Blog
The Project Medishare Blog is here to keep donors, volunteers and participants informed about the work we do in Haiti by posting updates on current programs and new initiatives as well as featuring current events as they occur. The blog also features the many medical and surgical trips in Haiti which are hosted by our partnering universities such as the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, and the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine to name a few. In order to gain a different perspective, Project Medishare offers the opportunity for doctor and student participants to contribute their photographs and words regarding their medical trip experiences in order to give a broader voice to the blog.
Should you have questions about the blog, blog posts or have any other questions regarding Project Medishare’s programs or initiatives please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.