Conversation with Haitian Partner: Women's Clinic Providing Ongoing Treatment for Earthquake Survivors
Posted on: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Yesterday, we had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Lise Marie Déjean, director SOFA, a MADRE sister organization in Haiti.
MADRE is working with SOFA, a national Haitian women's organization, to provide medical services to earthquake survivors. SOFA and MADRE partnered in 1996 to build Klinik Fanm, the first Haitian clinic dedicated exclusively to women's health and human rights, and we are now working together to provide earthquake survivors with health care and medical services.
During the meeting, Lise Marie expressed her thanks to you and our members, who have supported Haitian women and families since the earthquake.
"Immediately following the earthquake, it was very difficult. We lost so many friends and members of the women's movement. I wanted to leave Haiti, I was so tired. But I knew that we all wanted to leave, and most people just don't have that option. Knowing there were so many people who needed my help - that is what kept me there, what helped me re-open the clinic."
Following the earthquake, the SOFA clinic was one of the few places equipped to treat injuries and illnesses of women, men and children alike. Lise Marie told us that during the month of February alone, the clinic had seen 500 patients.
Klinik Fanm has continued its work with pregnant women. Lise Marie told us that thanks to your support, she will be able to continue providing mothers with the basic necessities they need to ensure the health of their children. In order to combat the high rate of anemia in Haiti, the clinic provides pregnant women with classes on nutrition and distributes fish, rice and corn. They also provide women, many of whom lost all of their possessions in the earthquake, with clothing for themselves and their babies.
Lise Marie expressed grave concern about the current rainy season.
"Right now, people are living in tents and under tarps; they are digging trenches around these shelters so that they aren't sleeping in mud or pools of water. But this is not good enough. The government says that people shouldn't go back into houses because of ongoing tremors. So people are stuck outside with the rain coming down. They need something better than tents. They need roofs over their heads - even if the roofs are temporary structures."