Health & Nutrition

The very poor of Haiti cannot afford to visit a doctor or purchase medicine. Mothers and fathers suffer unbearable worry, anxiety and fear when their children become sick. Basic health care - i.e. doctor's visits, vaccinations, emergency care, and simple health education - is practically nonexistent. Thousands of children die from health problems that are entirely preventable or treatable and many elderly are alone, sometimes abandoned by their families, and in desperate need of basic health care and nutrition. The number one killer among infants is acute diarrheal disease. For schoolchildren, who are grossly undernourished, infections and parasites claim the most lives. And for adolescents, adults and elderly, you will find severe cases of HIV, hypertension, tuberculosis and countless other serious health problems. A lot of the time health problems can be prevented by a simple meal.

Our health and nutrition projects target these marginally poor and seek to bring them both immediate medical intervention and preventative health care programs, as well as bring daily meals to those who are often neglected. We accomplish this through a combination of locally-run free clinics and dispensaries, preventative health programs and classes at our schools, gifts of donated medicine to other health projects, U.S. volunteer medical teams, and elderly feeding programs.

Summary of Ongoing Health & Nutrition Projects

Bongiovanni Health Center (Cite Soleil)

Free basic medical care for 14,000 residents of Cite Soleil. Staffed by team of 1 Haitian doctor and 6 health workers.

HT Mobile Clinic (Sites in and around Port-au-Prince)

A 3-room paramedic vehicle which circulates the different neighborhoods of Cite Soleil to distribute free medicine and receive mothers, infants, and the very sick. Used for emergencies in remote villages outside Port-au-Prince.

HT Preventative Health Education (Cite Soleil)

HT's medical director, Dr. Fanfan Blookington, conducts ongoing preventative health classes for 4,000 students and parents at our Becky DeWine School campuses.

Lutz Medical Clinic (Trou Sable, Gonaives)

Three examning rooms, 1 OBGYN delivery room and 1 basic medical laboratory provide free health care to slum residents. Staffed by 2 Daughters of Mercy.

Caritas-Gonaives Dispensaries (Mapou Lagon, Gervais, Brunette, Labrande, Poteneau, Savane a Roches, Tarasse)

Nine rural medical dispensaries staffed by Haitian nurses. Mainly used for free medical distribution. Treat the following pathologies: malaria, parasites, flu, anemia, diarrhea, and vitamin deficiency.

Elderly Feeding (Cite Soleil)

Daily meal for 500 elderly shared with students of our Becky DeWine schools. Every month we provide them with care packages of dry food, hygiene kits and bed linens.

Catholic School Feeding (Greater Port-au-Prince)

We partner with Scotland-based Mary's Meals charity to provide 1,100 daily school meals to 2 very poor Catholic schools outside of Port-au-Prince.

In addition to these ongoing programs, Hand Together continually looks for other ways to address emergency health needs, to expand preventative health care, and to provide nutrition as a basic human service. Donated medical supplies are channeled to our clinics and partner facilities such as the Missionary Brothers and Sisters of Charity, existing diocesan Caritas clinics and other trustworthy sites. Volunteer teams of doctors and health-care professionals from the United States and Europe help improve our facilities and train our Haitian staff.

For more specific information on our health and nutrition projects visit the Projects List page. To donate medicines and health products please contact our office.