Remembering the 2010 Earthquake
On January 12th, 2010, Project Medishare was running a series of community health programs in the Central Plateau, programs, which are still part of our crucial mission today. January 12th changed the lives of many Haitians and the country forever. It also left a lasting need for improving the country’s emergency services. For Project Medishare, the emergency relief effort which took its form in a large 300-bed tent hospital just hours after the disaster has now become a long-term training and capacity building project for Haiti’s trauma system.
The last five years has heralded a remark- able transformation from an all-international staff of physicians and nurses to an all-Haitian team staffing this 24/7 facility. This transformation was possible due to generous donors and the volunteers who dedicated their time and efforts to saving lives and to educating Haitian medical professionals in intensive care and new surgical techniques.
Medishare moved the operation at the tent hospital in 2010 to Hospital Bernard Mevs (HBM). In addition to treating more than 300,000 people in the last 4.5 years since the start of the partnership, HBM has paved the way for trauma and critical care in Haiti. It showed that a Haitian-run and operated facility is capable of operating an intensive care unit to a high standard and of saving some of the tiniest infants.
From projects born out of the relief effort such as our amputee and prosthetics programs and spinal injury unit, Bernard Mevs is one of the best rehabilitative resources in the region. Seeing Haitians who lost their limbs in the earthquake now manufacturing and fitting limbs for their fellow Haitian citizens is truly an amazing experience. Hundreds of prosthetics have been fitted at HBM.
In the last year, we have seen the Haitian government and the Haitian private sector come together around the next step in the amazing dream to offer first world care in Haiti – the development of a National Critical Care and Trauma Complex and a national trauma network. We look forward to this groundbreaking in 2015, just steps away from where Project Medishare treated victims of the 2010 earthquake.