Holy Cross Hospital (Hopital Ste. Croix), Leogane, Haiti
Status Report (As of October 20, 2010)
Holy Cross Hospital in Leogane has recently restored inpatient services at the institution which was heavily damaged by the earthquake in January of this year. On September 22nd Bishop Duracin of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti presided over a service of celebration for the official reopening of the facility and blessed the hospital. Many of the hospital buildings had been totally destroyed by the earthquake, including the administrative building, the guest house, and a two-story staff residence. Other structures were heavily damaged, including the building containing the pharmacy, surgical services, and the trauma and outpatient services and the hospital director’s house.
Dr. Gladys Memnon, a Haitian physician, is in charge of the hospital and, according to the last report I received, the outpatient clinic is seeing an average of 150 patients on a typical day. Thirty inpatient beds and two small operating theatres are now in use, and both the hospital laboratory and x-ray unit are functioning again. A core staff is in place, funded through the remainder of this year by a grant from the Episcopal Relief & Development in New York.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has made a grant of $775,000 to the Medical Benevolence Foundation (MBF) to support renovation of the three-story wing of the hospital which was moderately damaged by the earthquake. The grant will provide for a new roof, repairs of walls and floors, replacement of plumbing and the electrical systems, replacement of doors and windows, rebuilding of the security wall, purchase of two generators, and installation of a new sewage treatment plant – since rubble is blocking the sewers and drainage systems of the city of Leogane. Bishop Duracin has accepted the bid of TECINA, a Haitian construction firm, for the renovations. Construction work is expected to begin soon.
MBF and the International Health Ministries of the PC(USA) continue to work with the Holy Cross Hospital Board of Directors in replacing equipment and restoring full operations at the hospital.
The Holy Cross Hospital Board of Directors is scheduled to meet in Miami on November 1st and 2nd and will address budget, operating and staff issues. Representatives from the PC(USA) will be present for the meeting and will also participate in the Haiti Connections meeting on November 3rd and 4th that will include both Presbyterian and Episcopal groups working in Haiti.
Information for this report was provided by Bob Ellis, coordinator of the International Health & Development Ministries office of the PC(USA).
Note: The cholera outbreak in Haiti has not hit Leogane; it is centered in the St. Marc area of Arbonite, about sixty miles north of Port-au-Prince. Five cases were reported thus far in Port-au-Prince, but all of these cases were from folks coming to the city from the Arbonite area. The source of the outbreak has been traced to cholera bacteria in the river running through St. Marc.
Government and NGO officials are on “high alert” in the Leogane area, since cholera could be transported there, but the key to preventing transmission of cholera is drinking clean water and washing hands frequently. Cholera is only transmitted through contaminated food or water and can be readily prevented if clean water and proper sanitation are used.