November 5, 2021 | ATLANTA
Working to help Haiti recover from the August 2021 earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people and affected more than 800,000 others, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has awarded new grants that will be used to improve access to health care through the creation of new mobile health clinics and the installation of six water purification systems.
Haiti, which is still struggling with the aftermath of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake of 2010, was hit hard by this year’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake, followed by torrential rains from Tropical Storm Grace. The earthquake and tropical storm combination destroyed much of Haiti’s already fragile infrastructure, including damaging 59 health facilities, 27 of them severely, according to storm assessment reports (Flash Appeal OCHA, August 2021).
Thanks to a new UMCOR grant approved at the October 2021 Board of Directors meeting, the Methodist Church in Haiti, a part of the autonomous Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas, will be able to establish new mobile health clinics and deploy them to 28 churches in the Jeremie Circuit and 14 churches in the Leon Circuit. One medical team will be deployed one day per week for six months with locations determined by a doctor charged with organizing and evaluating visits. In addition to clinics operated by the church, Heart 2 Heart International will conduct mobile medical clinics at two remote sites one week per month for six months.
Improved access to potable water is an important part of the new UMCOR grant. A water filtration project will install units at six different locations to provide safe drinking water to the local populations. Consisting generally of a kiosk, tank and filtration system, the project will increase access to an adequate supply of potable water, which is essential for the population to break the cycle of communicable water-borne diseases such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid.