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Supporting Maternal and Child Health in Haiti

Patiently waiting their turn to be seen by a doctor.

Patiently waiting their turn to be seen by a doctor. Photo by Matt McDermott

Improving maternal and child health is a key priority of AmeriCares work in Haiti. Collaborating with our network of partners – hospitals, government health agencies and other providers – we are determined to meet the health care needs of these vulnerable populations. AmeriCares Haiti program associate Jemps Civil shares the story of one expectant mother — and how the work of AmeriCares and its partners has made a difference for her.

“For Darline, tents and costly medicines are in the past.”

One Thursday in October, about 30 young women were gathered in the sitting area of the Containers 2 Clinics women’s clinic at Grace Children’s Hospital, patiently waiting their turn to be seen by a doctor.

One patient, 26-year-old Darline Joseph, who lives 10 minutes from the hospital in a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, was visiting the clinic for the fourth time during her pregnancy.

Darline was eight months pregnant when we spoke, and looking forward to the birth of her baby girl. She explained how very happy and relieved she was to be able to receive the medicines she needed at no cost, and to receive care in such a nice, clean environment. She recalled her first visit to Grace Children’s Hospital several months after the devastating earthquake of 2010. She received care under plastic tents in the hospital courtyard because so many of the hospital’s structures had been destroyed. Darline remembered how hard it was for her to be seen by a doctor and how there was absolutely no privacy.

Now, she is grateful to be seen at the clinic — a place that provides everything she needs: inexpensive consultation, high quality care, free medicines donated by AmeriCares, a lab, a pharmacy, and even a waiting area. For Darline, tents and costly medicines are in the past. Now she is focused on the coming birth of her healthy baby and is confident that all will be well for her baby and her future.

Darline also expressed hope that the Containers 2 Clinics women’s clinic and AmeriCares will continue the good work they are doing to help women not only in Port-au-Prince, but all over Haiti.

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