The Village of Cherident
Cherident is a rural community located in the Grand Colline region of Haiti. Situated just 45 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, Cherident is prominently an agricultural- based society. The area in which Haiti Healthcare Partners has established its clinic has many mountains, making medical work difficult, yet most essential to this underserved population. We are one of the few medical providers within the region; leaving some of our patients to walk 3 hours to reach our facility. The clinic's presence is vital to the health and growth of the entire region.
When you enter the village of Cherident, you will be met with great Haitian hospitality and a unique sense of family in the area. Because of material poverty, most (if not all) of all the families we serve in this region will face some sort of battle in their lifetime to find food, to stay alive and healthy until the age of 5, prevent AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, cope with the absence of one parent in the home as well as other obstacles. We at HHP (Haiti Healthcare Partners) are working alongside local Haitians to fight these battles together.
A Little More on Haiti
A Young Boy and His Rock
When one visits Haiti or hear of Haiti through media, they can learn right away of the small island nation (no larger than Maryland) struggling for its some 9 million people to overcome another hardship. Yet, the Haitian people do indeed, overcome. This is what we can learn more about Haiti and its people; their resiliency in the face of great turmoil, their courage day in and day out in circumstances others might not be so brave to face, and their joy in the midst of seemingly nothingness. The Haitian people have so much to teach us.
One small story illustrated such lessons well.
Haiti is much like a young boy pushing a large rock all the way up a mountain. Although the rock was much heavier and bigger than him, the young boy was determined to never give up. Close to the top, the young boy stumbled and the rock slipped from his hands and rolled back down the mountain. Looking back, the young boy walked down the mountain and called a friend. Together they to push the rock back up the mountain again.
Healthcare in Rural Haiti
The Grand Colline region of Haiti is situated just outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This area is home to the Haiti Healthcare Partners clinic and also many farmers and small business owners. The families in this region have learned to live off of the land in order to survive. Providing healthcare in this region of Haiti is a difficult yet vital decision. Since opening doors in 2006, we have made bettering the lives of women and children one of our top priorities- given Haiti has one of the highest infant and mortality rates. Through our work in the region we have also come to learn more of the realities of Haiti's battle with malnutrition as well as high birth rates among young women, and the worst AIDS problem in the Americas (Pan-American Health Organization, www.paho.org).
According to PAHO, 40% of Haiti's population has no access to healthcare and more than 70% of the has no access to medications. Rural Haiti tends to have unsafe drinking water and adequate sanitation, those living in rural areas have much higher rates of waterborne disease (World Health Organization 2006).