The Haiti School Nurse Project
Middleham and St. Peter’s Parish launched the Haiti School Nurse Project in 2011 in response to a request from an Episcopal Parish in Northern Haiti and to respond to the health needs of the country after the devastating earthquake in 2010.
Why Haiti? Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Over 80% of their population lives in poverty. Together with extreme poverty, health conditions are poor. Access to clean water and sanitation systems is very limited. Cholera remains a major health challenge in many parts of Haiti. Health statistics for Haiti are sobering:
- 15% of children never reach the age of five.
- Less than 60% of children are vaccinated.
- Preventable diseases (malnutrition, diarrhea and pneumonia) are the major causes of child death.
- Haitian women have the highest maternal mortality rate in the Americas.
- 6000 Haitian children will die of AIDS this year
- Providing a nurse for schools directly impacts the health of the hundreds of students at the school and their families. Children rarely have access to health professionals. The availability of the nurse is a major improvement in health care can make a significant difference in students' ability to learn.
For 3 ½ years, our parish’s Haiti School Nurse Team supported the successful school nurse model in Gros Morne, and its replication in two more locations in Haiti – Hinche and Bondeau.
Now the parish and the Haiti School Nurse team are entering the second phase of school nursing support. Our partner in this second phase is the Episcopal University
University of Haiti School of Nursing in Leogane (FSIL). It is the top-rated school of nursing in the country and the only four year baccalaureate program. FSIL has arranged to have the program in three schools, with a Nurse Practitioner in the lead, and supported with three third year nursing students.
The Haiti School Nurse Project has four objectives for the schools and children:
- Provide immediate health care to the students and teachers at the school
- Assess the health of all of the students in order to improve their long-term health status
- Provide health education to all of the students and faculty
- Extend health resources to students' families and improve access to other health resources in the community and beyond
This project is a multi-year commitment by Middleham and St. Peter's Parish. The intent is to seek parish, community and grant support to obtain the funds needed for the nurse's salary, and the equipment and supplies for the project. Ultimately, we intend that the initial three schools will sustain the services of the school nurse and additional schools included in the project.
Our long-term goal is to make this project be a model that can be replicated in other schools and communities. We will appreciate any support you might want to make. Should you be willing to provide financial support, make your checks payable to Middleham and St. Peter's Parish with the notation indicating the Haiti School Nurse Project. Send your check to:
Middleham and St. Peter's Parish
P.O. Box 277, Lusby, MD 20657
We are available to share more with you about this project. Contact members of the Haiti School Nurse Committee by calling the church at 410-326-4948 or contacting the project at .