WASHINGTON (September 27, 2016) – A group of influential leaders recently traveled to Haiti with CARE and the Nashville-based global health organization Hope Through Healing Hands to see how vital U.S. investments and partnerships are improving health outcomes for women, their families and their communities. This trip was hosted by the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD, a long-time champion and expert on global health.
Today, Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Six years later, the country continues to rebuild following the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck in January 2010, resulting in 300,000 deaths and 1.5 million displaced people. Health indicators also remain a major obstacle. Maternal and child mortality rates are alarmingly high in the country due to poor health infrastructure and lack of access to quality health services.
On this three-day trip, the delegation saw firsthand the role that U.S. investments play in building healthier, stronger and more resilient communities. Throughout the trip, the group witnessed how simple solutions – such as access to quality health care services at every stage of a woman’s life – can help ensure women, their families and communities are able to survive and reach their full potential. These crucial health care services include pre- and post-natal care, nutrition counseling, healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies through family planning, and access to a variety of other health interventions, such as community health worker counseling and low-cost health insurance.
During the trip, the delegation visited a number of health clinics and hospitals throughout Port-au-Prince and the Central Plateau regions of Haiti. The group also met with partner organizations such as Project Medishare, GHESKIO, J/P Haitian Relief Organization and the DASH hospital, as well as the U.S. Mission. This included meeting with community health agents who serve as important liaisons for life-saving maternal, newborn and child health care services available in medical facilities throughout Haiti. They also sat down with Haitian women to learn about the successes and challenges many encounter when deciding if and when they will begin or expand their families. Lastly, the group had the opportunity to see CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) program, which helps women save and generate money. In turn, they use the funds to start small businesses and access critical health services for themselves and their families.
"This Learning Tour was an important opportunity to witness proven solutions at work that can end preventable maternal and child deaths in Haiti and around the world," said Sen. Frist." In partnership, we can build a smart, strategic and sustainable approach to health policies that leverages the influence and leadership role of the United States, motivating other governments and organizations to do more to advance women’s health and create lasting collaborations that could transform millions of lives.”
Participants in CARE’s September 2016 Learning Tour to Haiti included:
• Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, MD (R-TN)
• Jenny Dyer, Executive Director, Hope Through Healing Hands
• Cathleen Falsani, Religion Journalist, Columnist & Author
• Tracy Frist, Owner, Sinking Creek Farm
• Jennifer Grant, Writer
• Rachael Leman, Senior Director of Citizen Advocacy, CARE USA
• Jo Saxton, Director, 3DM
• Rev. Becca Stevens, Founder and President, Thistle Farms
• Steve Taylor, Filmmaker, Writer, Producer & Recording Artist
• Meredith Walker, Producer/Executive Director of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
• Tom Walsh, Sr. Program Officer, Global Policy & Advocacy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
• Corinne Williams-Anderson, Education Management Professional/CARE USA Advocate
• Kim Williams-Paisley, Actor and Author
• Rita Wray, Vice President, E3 Vanguard/CARE USA Advocate
For more information on CARE’s Learning Tours, please visit: www.care.org/LearningTours. The CARE Learning Tours program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
About CARE: Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year CARE worked in 90 countries and reached more than 72 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.care.org.
About Hope Through Healing Hands: Hope Through Healing Hands is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 whose mission is to promote improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. Through the prism of health diplomacy, we envision a world where all individuals and families can obtain access to health care information, services, and support for the opportunity at a fuller life. Specifically, we seek sustainability through health care service and training. This includes efforts for maternal, newborn & child health; healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies; clean water; extreme poverty; emergency relief; and global disease such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Strategically, we encourage global health partnerships by working hand-in-hand with leading organizations that best address these issues in developing nations. To learn more, visit www.hopethroughhealinghands.org.
Nicole Ellis, +1-202-595-2828, [email protected]
Melany Ethridge, + 1-972-267-1111, ext. 204, [email protected]
Photo courtesy of Josh Estey/CARE.