|Healthcare and Life in Haiti - Why We Help
Forward in Health is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health conditions and dignity of the people of Fonde Fred, Haiti. Fonde Fred is an area of 7,500 people with a population of 7,500 other impoverished residents in surrounding towns. Fonde Fred is near the city of Les Cayes on the southern coast of Haiti. Today the children and adults have no local access to any health care. When sick enough and only if money (which is not very often) is available, patients must travel to the hospital in the city of Les Cayes. This is a 30 minute ride over rough roads that is, only if a vehicle is available. In October of 2007 the road was washed away after a week of rain. Health care is now an hour away.
Conditions that Haitians face day-to-day simply do not exist in the United States . Pregnant women receive no prenatal care and give birth at home and many die. Dying during childbirth is the second leading cause of death in Haitian women. Adults are not screened for silent killers such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Children do not have access to medical care for common conditions such as earaches and pneumonia. Severe illnesses such as malaria, tuberculosis, and typhoid, unheard of in the United States , are common and can kill when left untreated. Even simple pain medication to ease ear pain is unavailable. One out of every three deaths in Haiti is a child. These statistics in a country only 700 miles from our shores can be reversed.
Our vision is to provide a permanent health clinic in Fonde Fred. Forward in Health will construct a 5,000 square foot clinic with an additional 5,000 square feet of living space on the second floor for visitors. Medical care will be provided by Haitian doctors and nurses with the support of Forward in Health. Services to be provided include prenatal, pediatric and adult medicine. Nutritional education and access to clean drinking water will be provided at the clinic. In the words of a resident of Fonde Fred when asked what the clinic will mean, "This is like God coming down to earth."