2010 Earthquake Response

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake decimated Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Homes, buildings, and roads were destroyed. The country was changed forever.

HEI/SBH immediately jumped into action, rushing to care for the wounded. Nearly every hospital and medical clinic in and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince was destroyed. Few of the remaining healthcare facilities were able to treat survivors’ unique medical needs, particularly those suffering from spinal cord injuries (SCIs).

A man who suffered from a spinal cord injury being carried off of a helicopter

At the request of the United States government and with generous funding from USAID Haiti, SBH constructed a SCI Rehabilitation Center. This one-of-a-kind facility provides comprehensive care for patients suffering from an SCI and was instrumental in saving lives after the disaster. Since its inception, the center has provided comprehensive, holistic care to more than 200 patients with an SCI and over 1,000 needing rehabilitative care. We have modified nearly 100 homes and public buildings to make them more accessible to patients with assistive devices. And we have conducted dozens of community events to raise awareness about people with disabilities and reduce the prejudice they often face.

The unimaginable pain, loss, and anguish the people of Haiti experienced after the earthquake still affect the country today. But so too do the feelings of hope, perseverance, community, and resilience—feelings that motivated Haitians to rebuild their homes, their lives, and their country.