The devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, caused approximately 300,000 injuries and left 10,000 Haitians permanently disabled. The most common disabilities resulting from the earthquake include loss of limbs from gangrene and crushing injuries, spinal cord injuries, peripheral nerve damage, head injuries, and mental trauma. The aftermath of the earthquake gave way to an unprecedented need for medical care and simultaneously destroyed many of the outlets which had provided care. As a result, the injured received inadequate or no medical attention. Amputations conducted in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake were generally of poor quality, and many patients were discharged without counseling and provision for follow up care. Physical therapy and social rehabilitation were not available in most cases. As a result, secondary complications have led to additional disabilities.
USAID has partnered with Project HOPE to develop a comprehensive health system strengthening program that provides a full range of quality services for people with disabilities. The offered services extend from in-home supportive care and therapy to advanced surgical interventions. In pursuit of this goal, USAID and Project HOPE have renovated and equipped three rehabilitation centers in the North Department. In addition, two surgical facilities (Hospital Justinien in Cap Haitien and State University Hospital in Port-au-Prince) are providing surgical fracture care. USAID and Project HOPE have also provided community-based services including: case finding and referrals, case monitoring, basic psychosocial support, and instruction/coaching for caregivers and clients to increase self-sufficiency and patient independence.
USAID’s program will develop an effective medical care system that provides a full range of services for persons with disabilities, including: corrective surgery, mobility devices (prosthetics/orthotics and wheelchairs), physical/occupational therapy, and psychosocial support.
- Surgical care: Patients with complicated fractures who require corrective surgery or have suffered from an injury are referred to the surgical sites, operated on by qualified surgeons, and provided with the opportunity to recover in a clean environment.
- Follow up: Caseworkers make regular home visits and monitor patients’ needs and progress.
- Psychosocial support: Project Hope ensures that individuals have meaningful roles within society, their communities, and their families.
- Strengthening of community-level healthcare facilities capable of providing physical therapy, psychosocial support, and referral to appropriate levels of care.
- Availability of community-based care, including psychosocial care and follow-up services in all communities in the project area.
- Readily available mobility aids and devices, including artificial limbs, splints/braces, crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and adaptive equipment, distributed through healthcare facilities.
Additional Program Information
Budget: $3.1 million
Life of Project: May 2012 – May 2015
Implementing Partner: Project HOPE
Last updated: February 06, 2014