As a Student Midwife at the University of Nottingham it is an essential part of the programme to undertake an elective placement in December 2016. I have decided to go to Haiti to fulfil this requirement and will be working closely with a Christian Charity - Hope Health Action (previously known as the Haiti Hospital Appeal). In order to fund this trip (Flights, Accommodation and Translators) I am planning on swimming 5km and conducting various other fund raising events (clothes and bake sales) to make the £2,000 needed. All other money raised will go directly to the charity.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has some of the worst health indicators in the world due to consecutive natural disasters (including the 2010 earthquake that killed 220,000 people) which have multiplied their problems.
Haiti also has the highest rate of infant and maternal mortality with 63% of births taking place at home without the attendance of a health worker due to geographical location, financial situation and poor education. The HHA supports North Haiti's leading maternity hospital with around 1,141 deliveries in 2015 and providing lifesaving hospital care to some of Haiti's poorest women. The HHA (along with other charities) helps to provide community based care via an outreach programme in North Haiti, giving antenatal care to women who would not usually be able to afford this.
Only 2% of people with a disability in the developing world have access to appropriate health care and rehabilitation. The other 98% live without adequate support, like access to wheelchairs and physiotherapy. In developing countries, people with disabilities are often discriminated against (often considered worthless and cursed) and children have no access to schooling. The HHA have developed a respite centre known as Maison de Benediction that provides residential respite care for children with disabilities in Northern Haiti. The centre provides unique support to some of the region’s most vulnerable families, offering children play therapy, physiotherapy, medical and nutritional support, and much more.
During my 4 weeks in Haiti I will be spending 2 weeks working in the Maison de Benediction followed by 2 weeks in the Maternity Hospital. I am very excited to be given this opportunity and I am working hard on raising the money to get me to Haiti. I will keep you all updated on fund raising events and progress and of course updating you upon my return my home!