The Thomonde Community Health Program - Haiti

In February of 2003, a $2.5 million multi-year grant established the Green Family Foundation (GFF) Initiative in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology and International Health. The key areas are: · Control of HIV/AIDS infection, · TB eradication, and · Access to basic healthcare and medications. The grant was awarded jointly to the University of Miami Pediatrics Department and to Project Medishare, a local not-for-profit organization working in Haiti to bring much-needed health care to remote regions of the Hemisphere's poorest country.

After three years, through the Green Family Foundation support, Project Medishare is an imposing presence in the Central Plateau and in Haiti in general. The Community Health Program has created access to health care services for 85,000 individuals in the Central Plateau. More specifically, the initiative team has conducted 28,168 home visits, 1,959 rally posts and 118 mobile clinics. Immunization rates in infants have increased from less than 10% to 86% and pre-natal care for pregnant women has increased from no pre-natal visits to an average of 3 visits for each pregnant woman. Oral Rehydration Therapy was administered to 8,298 children with infantile diarrhea, while 7,865 children received treatment for worms. In addition, a total of 766 patients successfully completed direct observed therapy for Tuberculosis. Mortality dropped from 698 deaths in the first year of the program to 418 in year two and 483 in year three.

The Community Health Program activities currently include the hiring, training and equipping local community health workers to provide "direct observed therapy" (DOT) to patients with TB and HIV/AIDS. Additionally, the health workers conduct educational sessions for their communities. They also provide other health services such as immunizations, family planning and referrals to the community clinic. Project Medishare, in partnership with "Zanmi Lasante" (Partners in Health), and the Haitian Ministry of Health, funded the renovation and expansion of the community clinic. They also fund the operating costs and provide ongoing support through donated medicines and equipment.

The Green Family Health Initiative, which funded the Community Health Program until December 2009, provided the foundation upon which to expand the Community Health Program into the Integrated Community Development Program, in partnership with the Global Institute at the University of Miami, and Project Medishare for Haiti, Inc. The Community Health Program in Thomonde is now currently supported through private and U.S. government funding.