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Haiti - Health : New program for persons with disabilities
29/08/2012 14:38:27

Haiti - Health : New program for persons with disabilities
Global NGO Project HOPE, in collaboration with local Haitian and United States-based health organizations, will launch a new program in Haiti to improve medical services for people living with disabilities. The U.S. Agency for International Development-funded program will provide a full range of medical services for disabled persons from in-home care and therapy to advanced surgical interventions.

HOPE will partner with Société Haitienne d'Aide aux Aveugles (SHAA), Federation Haitienne des Associations et Institutions des Personnes Handicapées D’Haiti (FHAIPH) and Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN) from Richland, Washington, to implement the three-year, $3 million USD program that will involve the renovation of six medical centers equipped to provide safe and effective surgical interventions, physical therapy, counseling and sufficient quantities of prosthetic and orthotic devices and mobility aids. Also, additional medical staff will be employed and existing staff will receive health education opportunities to achieve a superior level of patient care.

"Project HOPE and our partners will help the disabled Haitians achieve greater independence and reintegrate back into community life through medical assistance such as corrective surgery, physical therapy, prosthetics and other psychosocial support [...] We can do this in many ways, namely referring patients to the full range of supportive services and ensuring that patients understand how to navigate the country’s system of assisted living as necessary. Equally important are the efforts we must make within the community to reduce stigma and discrimination against the disabled. We can show people in the community that the disabled have aspirations like everyone else – to have a job or to be able to play sports in spite of their disability," declared Lucien Armand, M.D., MPH, Program Director for Project HOPE in Haiti.

HOPE‘s long-term strategy is to build health care capacity in Haiti, by strengthening hospitals that will be capable of surgical interventions focused on upper and lower extremities and the trunk/spinal column, as well as increase the number of facilities that will focus on rehabilitation services. Follow-on services such as psychosocial care and mobility aids, artificial limbs and other devices are also featured in the program.

HOPE and its partners will coordinate assistance from other community-based organizations (CBOs) that will work with each center to locate the disabled and refer them to the appropriate facilities for medical assistance. The CBOs will provide ongoing support to patients, including in-home monitoring, vocational training and assistance in job placement.

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