Reflections on Serving Remote Mountain Communities: Mobile Hospitals and Women’s and Children’s Health Care in Northern Haiti
In 2003 Alyans Sante Borgne’s (ASB) conducted the first week-long mobile hospital in Molas, a poor mountain community a 10-h walk from the main hospital in the town of Borgne in North Haiti. ASB is a partnership between Haiti Outreach—Pwoje Espwa (H.O.P.E.), a US-based NGO, and Haiti’s Ministry of Health. The paper reflects on this first experience and the evolution of an indigenous model of health care delivery, Sante Nan Lakou (SNL)/Health at the Extended Family Level, a model that prioritizes the needs of patients over those of the institution. It highlights the challenges of providing quality care to a much neglected segment of our population and documents the impact of this event for the community and for ASB. Lessons learned during that week shaped ASB’s response to the root causes of women and children’s poor health in the commune of Borgne. The response is articulated in a holistic grassroots program called Sante/Health, Edikasyon/Education, Ekonomi/Economy for Fanm/Women (SEE Fanm). SEE Fanm is a constellation of programs and initiatives that together brings quality care to women and seeks to empower them to take charge of their health and wellbeing and, by extension, that of their families and communities.