Thank you so much for your support so far! We'd like to remind you that we only have 7 days left to raise all of the pledges for this project. We appreciate you sharing our link w/ everyone you know, in the hopes of making our goal. Here is some background information on Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Haiti. We think that it's important that people know that this org was in existence long before the quake and plans on staying!
MORE INFO SOON!:
Haiti was a country in great need of support long before the tragic earthquake recently struck. For decades, it has been one of the poorest countries in the world, as well as one of the least developed. Before the capital city, Port-au-Prince, was nearly leveled by the earthquake, it was home to the majority of Haiti’s infrastructure, including its hospital, which was the main healthcare facility. Yet many Haitians who live in rural areas did not have access to medical care and were completely neglected.
Lascahobas, Haiti, is one of those areas. For years, Lascahobans have had to get their year-round medical services from a resident doctor assigned annually from Port-au-Prince: A single doctor for a town of 56,500! This doctor had to face not only an enormous caseload of patients, but also the lack of proper medical facilities and required medications.
With limited access to basic healthcare services and poor treatment, women routinely die in childbirth and infant mortality is high. An improperly treated broken leg can lead to death from gangrene; untreated glaucoma results in blindness, and typhoid and malaria are endemic, as is tuberculosis.
A native of Lascahobas, Ms. Estelle Dubuisson immigrated to Brooklyn, New York. While raising three children and working as a medical technologist, Ms. Dubuisson began to collect dollars from co-workers to send to Haiti. By 1976, she decided to found Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Haiti. More than 30 years later, Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Haiti (FCLH), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, continues to work to alleviate the hunger, illiteracy and poor health conditions of the children of Lascahobas by implementing programs in healthcare, nutrition and education.
In 1982, Estelle conducted a study and found that 90% of the Lascahobas children she tested for parasites had intestinal infestation and malaria! In 1984, Ms. Dubuisson conducted a follow up of her study and tested the rest of the children of Lascahobas for parasites as well as TB, Sickle Cell and anemia. The results of her second study revealed that:
70% of children still had intestinal infestation
80% had malaria
24% had the Sickle Cell trait
2% had the Sickle Cell disease
10% tested positive for TB
80% suffered from anemia
To combat these horrible statistics, FCLH has implemented numerous programs, which include:
The Nutrition Program:
FCLH provides a Nutrition Program through its Child Care Nutrition Center, which it constructed in Lascahobas in 1986. Participants in the program received one meal a day, Monday through Friday. It is the only food they eat all day. FCLH measured the success of the program by keeping accurate records of the age, height and weight of each child enrolled in the program. Note: In Lascahobas, 3eggs cost one US dollar ($1.00). The average Haitian lives off of $2 per day.
The Women’s Cooperative:
In 2000, Estelle Dubuisson had the opportunity to visit many rural areas. She saw children living in deplorable conditions. It was impossible to bring them all into the Child Care Nutrition Center in Lascahobas for nutritional care. It was heartbreaking to tell a mother of four or five children that only the youngest can be fed and the rest of the children will have to go without. As a result, FCLH initiated a plan to organize a cooperative of two groups of mothers. An account was opened up for them in a Credit Union. The mothers are taught how to manage a small business. Their limited resource of food products, i.e. making seasoning, and cooking, can result in profits to be used to adequately feed their children. The small group has blossomed to the present day 368 women caring for 1,568 children. FCLH continues to seek more individuals in need.
The Volunteer Medical Team:
Each year, a group of doctors from the United States visits Lascahobas and treats over 700 patients in one week. Since 1982, the FCLH medical team has: screened more than 12,000 patients, dispensed 6,500 pairs of eyeglasses, and performed 315 cataract extractions.
In 2000, FCLH opened the first hospital in Lascahobas, which was completely donated. That year, 3,117 patients received treatment at the hospital FCLH donated. This February, the Volunteer Medical Team aimed to return to Lascahobas, along with a group of young, dedicated filmmakers who planned to shed a light on the amazing work of this organization. However, the earthquake that devastated Haiti has created an emergency need for medical attention for thousands of Haitians. Luckily, the hospital in Lascahobas is in tact and usable! FCLH is working to get people transported to that facility as quickly as possible, and the team is working to get access and transportation to Haiti as soon as possible.
We appreciate any form of support that you may be able to give us.
- The FCLH Team
The Lascahobas hospital currently has the following facilities and equipment [possibly more]:
A large waiting room, intake and information area
An emergency room
Two (2) examining rooms for general medicine and surgery
An OBS/GYN room
A prenatal clinic and education center for expectant mothers
A pediatric clinic
A clinic for ophthalmology examination and diagnosis
A dental clinic
An X-ray facility
An outside latrine, with four stalls
A delivery room
A maternity ward (6 beds)
A nursery (7 cribs, 2 incubators)
A pediatric ward (7 cribs, 1 bed)
A adult women's ward (8 beds)
A adult men's ward (8 beds)
A 6-bed room
A 3-bed room
2 operating rooms
A scrubbing room
A sterilization room
A recovery room
Two (2) dressing rooms for medical staff - one for men, one for women
A doctor's office
A nurses' office
A conference room
A room for administration
A room for accounting
A bar for doctors
A storage room for hospital linen and supplies
Existing Medical Equipment
2 operating tables, two monitors, two EKG machines
1 delivery table
1 microscope for ophthalmology operations
1 microscope for ophthalmology for the clinic
2 dentist chairs with all dental equipment
1 examination table for pediatrics
1 consultation table for gynecology
Materials for the laboratory: microscope, machine for manual analyses
1 X-ray machine
1 examination table
scales for newborns
6 beds for pediatrics
60 beds for adults
6-8 desks and tables
4 refrigerators (cafeteria, laboratory, pharmacy and a small one for the operating room staff)
Other facts about the state of health and quality of life in Haiti (prior to the earthquake) from World Bank reports:
- Only 25% of population has access to safe drinking water.
Although vaccination coverage has increased in recent years, it remains one of the lowest in the world at about 25% of children.
- Infant mortality is 72 per 1,000 live births, almost twice the regional average.
- Malnutrition affects about half the children under the age of five.
- With approximately five births per woman of childbearing age or a total population growth rate of 2.3% a year, the Haitian population is expected to double from 1995 to 2025.
- Together, public and private health spending totals about $150 million or $21 per capita as compared to $38 in Sub-Sahara Africa, and $202 in Latin America.
- Life expectancy is 57 years compared with 69 years in Latin America.
- Half the population of Haiti earns $60 or less per year (median income).
For more information about health conditions in Haiti, please feel free to peruse the following Web sites:
Haiti: Demographic Health Indicators: Provided by the Pan American Health Organization