Posted on Jan 10, 2011 by Sergio Ulloa
The American medical technology company Medtronic has announced that it will provide a total of US$750,000 in grants towards the development of healthcare infrastructure in Haiti.
The Minneapolis based company Medtronic is a market leader in the provision of medical technology for restoring health, alleviating pain and extending the lives of millions of people globally. The US$750,000 grant will be provided through the Medtronic Foundation and is part of Medtronic's continuous support to improve the health of people and communities requiring help.
The Boston based Partners in Health, a non-profit healthcare organization, will receive US$500,000 of the Medtronic Foundation's grant, which will be used to finalize the construction of a public hospital in the Central Plateau city of Mirebalais - 60km northeast of the capital Port au Prince. On completion, the Mirebalais Hospital will be used for clinical care and technical capacity, with the prime objective being for the public healthcare facility to offer a greater range of diagnostics and therapeutics treatments.
The Mirebalais Hospital will also be used as a medical teaching facility to train resident physicians, nurses and medical students.
The remaining US$250,000 will be go to International Medical Corps, a not-for-profit humanitarian organization, to develop the provision of primary healthcare covering such medical areas as paediatrics, obstetrics and infectious diseases. The International Medical Corps will work in unison with Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population to evolve professional development and healthcare training programs in order to educate physicians in Haitian primary healthcare. The two bodies will work together in creating healthcare policies to augment the public healthcare system at community level in Haiti.
Following the earthquake in Haiti in early 2010, Medtronic pledged to donate a total of US$2.1 million in aid for the country. The latest donation of US$750,000 follows a previous donation of US$1.35 million made in cash and healthcare products by Medtronic in the initial aftermath of the earthquake, which measured 8.8 on the Richter scale.
The news of Medtronic grants comes a year after the devastating earthquake which shocked Haiti in January 2010 resulting in most of the country's infrastructure being destroyed. The earthquake which struck Haiti was in fact one of the worst earthquakes to be recorded in the last 100 years and was responsible for killing more than 220,000 people.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one the poorest in the world. Even before the 2010 earthquake, the Haitian healthcare system was in dire straits and was limited in the provision of health services it could provide. In the wake of the enormous earthquake in 2010, the country's infrastructure was thrown into turmoil with healthcare facilities rendered virtually non-existent presenting an environment for theoutbreak of serious diseases such as Cholera.
Financial grants such as those provided by Medtronic are pivotal in the rebuilding of Haiti's infrastructure ranging from schools to the healthcare system. The grants are being provided in order to improve the lives of the Haitian citizens. International governments, non-profit organizations and charities have all pledged aid to support the rebuilding of Haiti's infrastructure, which remains in dire need of help with many Haitians still living in makeshift camps run by charities.
Although it has been a year since the earthquake struck Haiti, much of the financial aid promised to the country - US$ 11 billion over the next 10 years - has not arrived. This is partly due to political uncertainty and the widespread rioting, which took place in November 2010. Until full funding and political stability returns to Haiti, redevelopment of the country's infrastructure is likely to remain in a state confusion, with the consequential adverse impact on the nation's healthcare system. The completion of the Mirebalais hospital project is, nevertheless, a major step in the right direction.
Medtronic Inc. is based in the USA and is a global leader in medical technology. Medtronic manufactures and sells medical devices for worldwide distribution. Medtronic medical technology helps to make it possible for millions of people to resume everyday activities, return to work, and to live better and longer.
International Medical Corps
International Medical Corps is a humanitarian, non-profit organization established in 1984 dedicated to saving lives. International Medical Corps is run by volunteer doctors and nurses who work together to improve the quality of life of people worldwide through health interventions and related schemes.
Partners In Health
Partners in Health is focused on averting millions of preventable deaths among poor people living in the developing world. Partners in Health work towards fivefundamental principles: access to primary healthcare, free healthcare and education for the poor, community partnerships, addressing basic social needs and serving the poor through the public sector.