Community Health Clinic
At the core of FEJ's health care program is the Community Clinic Enfant Jesus in Lamardelle. The clinic is staffed by a competent team of Haitian doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who provide care for students at the Enfant Jesus School and the entire surrounding community.
Access to health care is extremely difficult for residents of remote regions like Lamardelle. FEJ built the clinic to address this need and to ensure that the community of Lamardelle and the surrounding areas would have access to high-quality health care at very little cost. The clinic offers regular medical services, including vaccines, pre-natal, maternity, physiotherapy, and pediatrics, as well as educational services, like nutritional programs for children and pregnant women.
FEJ recognizes the interlocking nature of development issues that are necessary to promote a sustainable community. A key focus is addressing the severe malnutrition conditions of the children attending the school, those in the orphanage, and those being seen in the community clinic.
Nutrition education, or teaching people the best foods to use from available sources, and providing basic nutrition and medication is a major focus of the nutrition program in the coming years. FEJ programs are designed to address lasting solutions to reduce malnutrition and improve children’s lives. Enfant Jesus community clinic envisions incorporating the nutrition program as part of the clinic, allowing children to receive nutritional support and medical attention.
FEJ believes that physical health and development are the foundation upon which cognitive development is based. Nutrition is closely integrated with all health and education activities, starting with the pregnant mother, the birth of the infant and ongoing for the children throughout their lives.
Comprehensive training to improve the nutritional status of children and the staff at FEJ facilities is provided and includes topics such as infection prevention and reduction, environmental sanitation, early treatment of infections, feeding of sick children, and maintaining good nutrition practices throughout life.
- To supply medicines, teach nutrition, conduct physical rehabilitation, provide regular medical check-ups, and to educate parents.
- To provide vaccinations, nutritional information, food preparation techniques, and teach AIDS prevention.
- To train a Haitian clinic staff member to provide services year-round.
- To outfit the school, orphanage and medical clinic with milk and medicine for the children in need.
Each year, thousands of women worldwide die due to pregnancy-related complications. Poor countries are affected the most. Haiti has the highest maternal mortality rate (630 deaths per 100,000 live births) compared to the average for the Caribbean (99 deaths per 100,000 live births).
Research shows that the reduction of maternal mortality is facilitated by skilled attendance at birth. Yet, only 25% of Haitian women are seen by qualified medical staff during childbirth. This percentage drops significantly to 10-15% in rural regions. This alarming situation has many causes including socioeconomic status, lack of education, inaccessibility of quality health care, geographic and cultural barriers, and a national health system that fails to meet the needs of the entire population.
FEJ’s Maternity Project aims to strengthen the institutional care of pregnant women at the Community Clinic Enfant Jesus. Lamardelle has a high rate of maternal deaths. Almost all pregnant women living in the Lamardelle region (90 percent) give birth at home without the assistance of qualified personnel. The Maternity Project seeks to change this.
Objectives and Strategies
Our goal is to reduce the rate of maternal and neonatal mortality by decreasing the percentage of births at home by 50% and increasing the use of qualified medical staff during childbirth. Three specific objectives have been defined:
- Establish basic emergency obstetrics care (SOUB) at the community clinic.
- Engage 75% of pregnant women using these services.
- Provide education about children's and women's health.
The Maternity Program provides both the human and material resources to achieve these objectives, thereby expanding the quality and scope of health services to pregnant women. The Community Clinic Enfant Jesus will provide all pregnant women with three types of care to ensure healthy mothers and healthy infants:
- Preventative care: Prenatal care and HIV testing
- Curative care: Basic emergency obstetrics care (SOUB), including monitoring of physiological childbirth, postnatal care, and support for complicated pregnancies (pre, per and postpartum)
- Ongoing monitoring and response
The Maternity Program also provides education to all pregnant women and the general public on the importance of institutional delivery. Our team includes a midwife, 25 matrons from the community, a doctor, social worker, health agents and community agents.
FEJ also partners with a network of midwives and field staff already in place. The traditional midwives will be refocused on awareness and community mobilization. FEJ will provide a financial incentive to the midwives (twice the amount received for a delivery) to motivate them to bring pregnant women to the clinic. Regular support meetings will also be held each month.