“Remember this, we cannot be a strong nation unless every child is healthy,” declared Sophia Martelly, the First Lady of Haiti, at the inauguration of SBHF’s Maternal and Neonatal Health center. Over 150 guests, ranging from the Minister of Health to a mother who recently delivered at St. Boniface Hospital, attended the celebratory event on Wednesday, March 25th. They had the opportunity to see SBHF’s new facility, which is both a center for advanced health care and a training space for maternal and neonatal care in southern Haiti.With a total of seventeen beds for women at various stages of pregnancy and fourteen beds for neonates (including five incubators), the MNH center will significantly increase SBHF’s capacity to care for the population
within and beyond the Fond-des-Blancs catchment area.
The Build Health International (BHI) construction team was acknowledged during the ceremony. Consisting largely of Fond-des-Blancs locals, this group labored for 13 months, using over over 70 tons of rebar and 20,000 concrete block in building the MNH center to a high safety standard that will keep staff and patients safe. Furthermore, the BHI team coordinated much of the medical equipment procurement process. The construction was truly an effort by the community for the community; many of the worker’s wives and children will directly benefit from the care that will be offered in the MNH’s wards and consultation rooms. During the inauguration the SBHF team, Haitian government, partners, and donors emphasized the impact the MNH center will have beyond Fond-des-Blancs. “We are thrilled to have this facility and we will care for anybody who comes. But, we know that alongside these partners we can work to assure health care coverage for women and children in all regions across the south,” said SBHF CEO/President Conor Shapiro. The MNH center will not only augment SBHF’s health care capacity - it will provide a platform to expand maternal and neonatal care services on a larger scale.
The SBHF staff would like to thank our donors and supporters for making this health care space a reality. Because of you, we saw the first delivery in the MNH center at 10:23pm on Monday, March 30th. Wordta weighed 5.1 pounds at the time of her birth and was healthy. She was born in the MNH center delivery room surrounded by a more advanced health care space than any child born before in Fond-des-Blancs.