Haiti: emergency ambulance service

ambulance

Title Haiti: emergency ambulance service
Description Assisting with the purchase of a new ambulance to enable safe transport for emergency patients, including those needing critical maternal care and treatment for cholera.
Status Implementation
Dates Start: January 2013; End: January 2014
Implementing partner Haiti Hospital Appeal
Location Northern region, Haiti
Sector Health

Situation

The North of Haiti has few publicly-accessible ambulances working 24/7 to enable the safe transport of emergency patients to hospital. Focus groups conducted recently highlighted that one of the biggest barriers for women attending the hospitals for maternity care was the lack of transport and the security risks associated with travelling at night. The cholera epidemic in Haiti has increased the need for transport as dehydration and a lack of medical care can often lead to death for young children and vulnerable adults.

Since 2009 the Haiti Hospital Appeal (HHA) ambulance has been serving people across the northern region, to provide a response to critical emergencies such as obstetric care and road traffic accidents. HHA requested funds to support the provision of a new ambulance to assist them in continuing to meet needs.

Partner

Since 2006, HHA has been delivering quality healthcare to those usually unable to access it. Based in the northern city of Cap Haitien, HHA has provided a hospital, community health projects, children’s home, and an ambulance service. It responded with energy and creativity to the earthquake in 2010 with the establishment of Haiti’s first spinal cord rehabilitation centre, and to the subsequent cholera epidemic by opening a large cholera treatment centre in partnership with the Ministry of Health and other agencies. The cholera-related mortality rate in some of the target zones fell from 13% to 0.5% within a few months.

Response

Cyan has assisted with a grant for the additional funds required for a new ambulance, to enable cholera and other emergency patients in northern Haiti to access the medical services at HHA. The ambulance is a 4×4 Toyota Landcruiser suitable for travel into remote areas where road access is limited.

Outcomes

It is expected that the ambulance service will support cholera related activities in the north of Haiti. As the cholera epidemic declines, the ambulance will be used to providing transport locally, particularly for maternity care, and where necessary for any patients that are referred for specialist treatment in Dominican Republic. It is anticipated that the availability of the ambulance will encourage pregnant women to deliver at the maternity unit, and contribute to a decrease in maternal and neonatal death.

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