A hospital for the children of Cité Soleil

In Haiti, the "Nos petits frères et sœurs" association has built a children's hospital for the Port-au-Prince shantytowns.

Social and Employment

Tabarre, suburbs of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Monique Vidal, Veolia Eau

10,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2005/07/05
  Project leader Nos petits frères et soeurs Association Nos petits frères et soeurs

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and, in recent decades, it has been plagued by high levels of endemic poverty. None of its political leaders, for the most part been dictatorial and corrupt, have been able to find the solutions the country is crying out for. This catastrophic situation is compounded by one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, up to 7% of the adult population in certain regions (Unaids figures). The consequences of such circumstances for children are well documented: extremely high rates of infant mortality, hundreds of orphans left to fend for themselves on the streets and widespread disease (cancer, skin disorders, tuberculosis, malnutrition, AIDS, etc.)

480 beds for children from shantytowns

To bring hope to these forgotten children, the "Nos petits frères et soeurs" association* founded an orphanage in Kenscoff which accommodates 550 children. At the same time, it oversees the running of a children's hospital in Pétion-Ville and manages the medicine and prevention programme set up by Rick Fréchette, priest and doctor, in the dispensaries of Mother Teresa's congregation of the Missionaries of charity.
In the early 2000s, it formed the project to pursue its activities by building a new children's hospital adjacent to the capital's largest shantytown: Cité Soleil.
Located in the district of Tabarre, this new establishment opened its doors in late 2005. This 480-bed facility can care for sick children while running prevention campaigns aimed at local families.A top level establishment, it demanded large investments.To contend with its overall financial needs, the"Nos petits frères et sœurs" association has launched a public appeal for funds in the United States and Europe.In response to this call, the Veolia Foundation made a grant of 10,000 euros to defray the cost of equipment for the operating theatre and intensive care units.

* French branch of a movement founded by a Franciscan monk in 1954 which manages orphanages in nine Latin American countries.

An exemplary pediatric hospital

Since 2006, the new "Saint-Damien" pediatric hospital has provided many medical services.Fourteen doctors, forty male and female nurses, sixty eight medical assistants and seven health counselors followed each other at the bedsides of the young patients around the clock.Most of the children are treated for disease is connected with malnutrition, dehydration, and the consequences of being seropositive.At Saint-Damien, they enjoy all the care that the condition and lands: hospitalization, functional reeducation, dental care, medical analytical laboratory, x-rays, etc. and since 2007, has also acquired oncology and surgery wards.At the same time, the establishment opened a public health Center in March 2006.There, the families are received and cared for under a day care arrangement.Among the different treatments dispensed, pregnant women are systematically offered AIDS tests, making it possible to begin the treatment -- if they are seropositive -- one month before giving birth and a few days after the baby is born to protect it from the virus.Other regular actions: the public health Center organizes many prevention campaigns (vaccinations and familiarization with the risks associated with sexually transmissible diseases) as well as courses in nutrition and hygiene.
This comprehensive approach clearly matches the ambition of Saint-Damien: to become a pilot institution, a reference in Haiti, capable of enticing the many young Haitians who train in the different medical disciplines in Haiti and then often depart to practice abroad.