The Canadian Red Cross is facilitating access to healthcare in remote areas of Haiti

Topics: Americas, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide, Our Impact on the Ground
Esther Vigne and Pierre-Paul Ancion | January 11, 2018

Miss Florestal, Marbial health centre.

Miss Florestal, permanent nurse at the Marbial health centre.


Marbial is a large neighbourhood in Jacmel, the area of Southeast Haiti where the Canadian Red Cross built a health centre as part of the integrated health program that was implemented after the earthquake on January 12, 2010.

The program was rolled out in cooperation with the Haitian government and the Haitian Red Cross, with the support of expert Canadian partners that have been working in Haiti for years: the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre, the University of Montreal International Health Unit and the Montreal Health and Social Services Agency. As a result, three dispensaries in remote southeastern communes were converted into health centres and a new health centre was built.

Due to the lack of basic infrastructure, the residents of Marbial did not have access to adequate healthcare until their small dispensary was converted into a fully equipped health centre by the Canadian Red Cross and its partners.

“Before, the dispensary was less well equipped and less spacious. Births were performed by candlelight or the glow of a cellphone. Now the space is better outfitted, the electricity is stable, and deliveries have greatly improved,” explains Miss Florestal, the permanent nurse at the Marbial health centre.

Today, Miss Florestal is pleased with the impact of her team’s work in the community of Marbial. The newly built health centre has enabled them to offer improved services and better meet the needs of the population.
“We can now screen for tuberculosis and do observations, consultations and deliveries,” she beams.

Training that has saved lives
In addition to infrastructure, the integrated health program also focuses on building the capacities of healthcare workers. Miss Florestal received emergency and CPR training through the program.

Rapport_photo-sante1-240x180-(1).jpg“I attended emergency and CPR training that allowed me to save the lives of infants. Baby Laure was unable to breathe when she was born, and the information I learned helped me resuscitate her. My community and I will always be thankful to the Red Cross and its partners for the health program in the Southeast.” 

Yves-Laure, one of the two babies who were saved at the last minute, is now a beautiful young girl. Miss Florestal will never forget that extraordinary experience.

Since the devastating earthquake in 2010, the Canadian Red Cross has developed programs tailored to meet urgent needs in partnership with local communities and the Haitian Red Cross. Every day, our collective efforts foster empowered and resilient Haitian communities. Thanks to the tremendous generosity of Canadians, tens of thousands of Haitians were housed, received care and were able to return to their communities.

Learn more about our efforts in Haiti.