Catholics Bring Life-saving Health Care to Rural Areas of Haiti

Catholics are banding together to bring life-saving health care to rural areas of Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world.

“The key thing that I saw was partnership. Catholic Medical Mission Board can’t do it alone,” Adam Kerrigan told Catholic News Agency.

Kerrigan is the Catholic Medical Mission Board’s senior vice president for partnerships. In an interview, he described the new hospital his organization helped build in Côtes-de-Fer on Haiti’s Southern coast.

“We work with the bishops’ conference, with the ministry of health, and with the community together,” he continued.

The Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Center for Health, named after the late board member of the CMMB and the former auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, opened on Haiti’s southeastern coast on Monday, providing health care to the area’s population who previously would have had to travel for hours to the nearest hospital for care.

After a catastrophic 2010 earthquake shook the country, most of the aid response focused on the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince, Kerrigan told CNA.

In the wake of the earthquake “little attention was being paid to the Southern tier,” which was just as devastated as the north but harder to get to, Kerrigan said. The local bishop had asked the Catholic Medical Mission Board to bring supplies and volunteers to the area, which they did.

Bishop Guire Poulard was eventually moved to the archdiocese of Port-au-Prince but he still insisted that a hospital should be built in the south.

With the help of a $2 million matching grant from Mercy Health, a Cincinnati-based Catholic health care system, construction began on the hospital in Côtes-de-Fer in 2013. It will serve 50,000 Haitians in the region.

Child and maternal mortality is a big problem in the region, Kerrigan said, and the hospital will be primarily addressing the health of women and children.

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SOURCE: Crux Now, Matt Hadro