Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

After a catastrophic natural disaster, we stepped in to provide the care survivors needed.

The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Program at St. Boniface Hospital serves as a model for SCI programs in resource-poor settings around the world.

After the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, an untold number of survivors suffered from an SCI but lacked access to the specialized care they needed to heal and return to their families. At the request of the US government and with initial financing from USAID, Health Equity International developed the country’s only comprehensive SCI program combining inpatient rehabilitation and an outpatient support network for over 100 people with paralysis and other disabilities.

The program takes an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to caring for people with an SCI, and supports patients on their reintegration into their communities and homes. Additionally,  program staff partner with representatives from the Haitian government on advocacy activities, coordinate a national SCI working group, support income-generating activities, education for people with an SCI, and capacity-building for health care professionals.

SBH has assessed over 200 people for a spinal cord injury since the program began in 2010. There are currently over 150 participants enrolled in the program across the country, with 87% of them living at home in their communities and receiving medical, psychosocial, and material support through the program. Additionally, we have provided hundreds of outpatient rehabilitation sessions for patients with non-spinal cord injuries through the rehabilitation center.

Our Work in Action