St. Boniface is pleased to announce that the ground has been broken on our new Maternal Health Center. There was no ribbon and giant scissors, but much enthusiasm and a lot of energy among St. Boniface staff as the construction started on the biggest building project St. Boniface has ever launched. Due to open in February 2015, the Center will be the only source for 24/7 emergency obstetric care and neonatal intensive care in the entire Southern Peninsula of Haiti.
1 in 83 Haitian mothers die in childbirth, partially due to the fact that only a quarter of all births are overseen by a skilled birth attendant. Few women have the access or the funds for quality maternal care, and so at-risk pregnancies go uncared for. Our current NICU is always full of infants, and there are new mothers in every spare bed in the hospital, resting with their babies. A new maternal and neonatal health care center is greatly needed.
Which is why we’re so excited that building has finally commenced on the new Maternal Health Center. Nearly 14,000 square feet, the Center will have 18 beds for labor, delivery, recovery, and bed rest, with a NICU large enough for 8 infants. In addition, it will house much-needed classrooms for staff trainings, community health programs, and support groups. The facility will also increase St. Boniface’s storage capacity, as well as provide public toilets and showers.
A lot of planning and preparation got this project to this point, but it would have never have happened without the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and our generous donors. The planning team has included Sho-Ping Chin of Payette Design, Jim Ansara, founder of Shawmut Design and Construction and St. Boniface board member, and Erik Bensen of Build Health International. But there is a lot more to be done, and there is still time to get involved! We’re looking forward to pulling out the ribbon to formally open a top-notch maternal and neonatal care center a year from now, and we hope you’ll be there to celebrate with us.