Rehabilitation Training Team (131019HART)
Haiti has a history of being unstable and is currently in economic decline. It has been ranked by the United Nations as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the only country in the Latin America and Caribbean region on the UN’s list of Least Developed Countries. The United Nations Development Program estimates that nearly 80 percent of Haitians live on less than $2 per day and 55% of the total population lives under $1.25 per day.
There were approximately 800,000 disabled persons in Haiti before the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern Haiti on January 12, 2010. It has been estimated that about 300,000 additional people became disabled as a result of the earthquake.
Life is challenging for those with disabilities in Haiti. Often they are unable to fully participate in social and economic activities due to the strong stigma associated with having a disability. For those who would be able to be reintegrated with physical rehabilitation, limited access to therapy and other rehabilitation services can restrict their ability to pursue care. It is estimated that there are only a couple of dozen trained professional Haitian physical therapists.
Goals and Objectives:
This team will focus on capacity building with our Advantage staff in Haiti in rehabilitation services.
Greatest benefit this specific team will bring:
The team’s focus on capacity building of staff in Haiti, the team will build skills of professionals who provide longer term care than any team can provide on their own. This will improve local access to rehabilitation services.
Challenges you expect they may encounter:
- Developing an understanding of the cultural perceptions related to disabilities.
- Working in a cross-cultural setting with multiple languages. The Haitians on staff speaks primarily Creole and French. One of our therapists’ native language is Spanish.
- The environment in which the team may lack resources that they commonly have available in the States.
- Often US professionals specialize in a particular of care, the nature of rehab in Haiti stretches those who have specialized to recall many of the generalist skills acquired prior to taking up a specialty.
- The urban and rural terrains and settings may pose greater challenges to the patients and require unique solutions.
- Patients and families often travel great distances to reach the clinic and find a place to stay while visiting the clinics. The costs of travel may limit the time patients have to receive care.
Beth Templeton and James (Zach) Strandy