Haiti: A Look Back, a Look Forward

In 2012, we funded our first grant in Haiti. Now, we’re seeing what is possible for all of Haiti’s mothers.

Since 2012, through our grants and partnerships with Midwives for Haiti and Partners in Health we’ve trained 69 Haitian women and men to become skilled birth attendants, supported supplies for safe pregnancy and delivery, and educated more than 400 experienced healthcare providers in pregnancy, labor and delivery skills. These trained health workers have already delivered skilled care to 24,814 mothers and babies.

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Nadage Piere, 29 years old and 8 months pregnant with her fifth child. She delivered her first four babies at home due to difficulty reaching a hospital from poor road conditions. Now she’s happy to have a new clinic nearby that she can access easily for labor. In fact, she’s already been visiting the Birth Center for her prenatal care, and feels safe and supported knowing she’ll be taken care of by a professional when the time comes to deliver.

This is just the beginning of #WhatIsPossible in Haiti.

In September 2014, our friends at Midwives for Haiti, along with a small EMC delegation, traveled to Cabestor, an isolated rural community in Central Haiti with limited health facilities and high maternal and neonatal mortality rates. One of our board members and delegates, Heather Armstrong, described Cabestor as being “a place so remote that if you search for it on Google maps you will conclude that it does not exist.” During this trip, we visited the site of a crumbling building that was filled with hope and potential to become a much-needed clinic for Haitian women.

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Nadene Brunk, Executive Director & Founder of Midwives for Haiti & long-time EMC supporter, Christiane Lemieux, join EMC staff in Haiti to help get the new Carrie Wortham Birth Center ready for opening.

We funded a grant to Midwives for Haiti to renovate, furnish and supply the building and transform it into a birth center and today, we proudly announce that the Carrie Wortham Birth Center in Cabestor is open for business.

Earlier this month we traveled to the Birth Center to help with the final stages of construction. While there, we met Nadage Piere, a 29 year-old mother who is 8 months pregnant with her fifth child. She delivered her first four babies at home because that was her only option. Now with the opening of the clinic nearby, she can travel there via moto-taxi when she goes into labor. In fact, she’s already visited the Birth Center for prenatal care, and feels safe and supported knowing she’ll be taken care of by a professional when the time comes to deliver.

This weekend, a small team of EMC staff and friends are headed to Haiti once again. This time, we’re celebrating the birth center’s official opening and the fact that more women and mothers will have access to the skilled care they need to have a safe delivery.

Thanks to you and to our friends at Wayfair and Midwives For Haiti, EMC has helped provide clinic renovations plus help support the staff, equipment, medicines and supplies needed for its first year of operation.

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A midwife, who recently graduated from Midwives for Haiti midwifery program with support from EMC, cares for a baby delivered at the clinic before it’s official opening.

The Carrie Wortham Birth Center stands as proof of #WhatIsPossible when we work together to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for more updates from our team in Haiti.

Topics: Maternal Health 101s