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Jhpiego Health Workers to Provide Relief Services in Haiti

January 14, 2010
CONTACT: Melody McCoy
410-537-1829 or mmccoy@jhpiego.net
Cell: 410-868-9399

[Updated: Three of six Jhpiego affililiates in Haiti located.]

Jhpiego, an international health non-profit with a 15-year history of working in maternal and newborn health, family planning and HIV counseling in Haiti, is ready to send a team to the earthquake-ravaged country to ensure immediate newborn and infant care, assist health care providers and help the government reestablish its health care system.

The organization, which has provided pre-natal and maternal care, family planning and HIV-AIDs counseling services and training to Haitians for more than a decade, has heard from three of its six local staff and consultants but is still trying to get in touch with the others, a spokeswoman said.

Jhpiego President and CEO Leslie Mancuso told a staff meeting Thursday morning that the organization has been involved in an ongoing inter-agency team effort to locate the employees and their families.

“They are a part of our Jhpiego family,” Mancuso said. “When we have a crisis, we take care of our family.”

Jhpiego’s preparation to go to Haiti is not unlike its response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that clobbered South Asia.  The 35-year-old organization, known worldwide for its work in maternal and child health in 150 countries, sent a relief team to Indonesia to complement its 20-member staff.

In Aceh, they re-established, equipped and renovated 20 midwife practices and two midwifery schools, established and equipped the obstetric unit of one provincial hospital, equipped 50 village midwives with delivery and suturing kits, and two midwifery schools.

The organization also recruited and deployed 127 midwives to fill the gap in reproductive health services at health facilities and camps for displaced persons. Services provided by these midwives covered an estimated 1,504 children and 3,852 women.

Jhpiego also helped provide counseling to 141 midwives who lost their practices and/or family members. 

 Jhpiego finished the last of its tsunami projects this past December.

 “We will offer Haitians and their leaders the same commitment. After the disaster relief has ended, Jhpiego’s pledge is to continue our ongoing efforts of improving maternal and newborn health care,” Mancuso said.

Since its founding, Jhpiego, based in Baltimore and a part of The Johns Hopkins University, has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families.

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