The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) has worked in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti for over forty years, focusing on ministries of health, development and education. Poverty is endemic in Haiti, perpetuated by economic and environmental mismanagement and government corruption. Healthcare services and disease prevention efforts are inadequate, and as a result Haiti’s population has rates of disease and death far above those of other countries in the region. Malnutrition is widespread, diarrheal diseases and typhoid are common, and maternal mortality rates are high. Life expectancy is only 59 for men and 63 for women.
International Health & Development has long supported efforts to improve and strengthen health care in Haiti, working closely with the Medical Benevolence Foundation and collaborating with Presbyterians who share their skills and their faith as medical mission volunteers. PC(USA)’s engagement in health services is focused on Holy Cross Hospital in Leogane, St. Vincent’s School for the Handicapped in the capital of Port au Prince, and the St. Croix Community Health Center at Darbonne.
In January, 2010 the capital and surrounding area were devastated by a major earthquake centered near Leogane. St. Vincent’s School and much of the Holy Cross Hospital compound and the health facilities at Darbonne were destroyed. Now IHD is engaged with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the Medical Benevolence Foundation in a comprehensive long-term effort to rebuild.