Mission Statement: The healthcare programs of NPH Haiti are motivated by the gospel command to care for the sick and strive to offset the injustices of poverty and unemployment which make healthcare inaccessible for many poor people. Poverty imposes a tremendous burden of sickness and suffering on many children. In an effort to help precisely these children, St. Damien Pediatric Hospital offers both children of poverty, and children of any social level in emergent distress, quality and dignified healthcare. St. Damien always seeks to include the parent participation in this care through ongoing dialogue, on-site opportunities for education, and encouraging any level of material support they can offer for the care of their children.
Background: The island nation of Haiti is located in the Caribbean and is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Poor sanitation and widespread poverty have led to young children being 15 times as likely to die from diarrhea or pneumonia than HIV/AIDS. Nearly 10% of children die before their 5th birthday, largely of treatable illnesses. 1 out of 4 children are moderately to severely malnourished, and 138,000 children die of preventable diseases each year. In a population where 1/3 of the population is under 14 years old, improvements in pediatric health are a vital and necessary requirement towards Haiti’s economic, social, and political development.
Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos founded by American priest Father William Wasson in 1954, opened their Haiti program (as Nos Petits Frères et Sœurs (NPFS) or Our Little Brothers and Sisters) in 1988. While the initial goal of NPH/NPFS was to build a permanent home for orphaned and abandoned children, the large amount of children dying from treatable illnesses showed a desperate need for a hospital that could treat chronic and other debilitating pediatric illnesses.
Funded through private contributions to NPH worldwide, St. Damien provides high quality medical treatment for disadvantaged and sick children in Haiti. More than half of all patients are admitted for an infectious disease such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV while twenty-five percent are admitted for non-infectious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and kidney infection. Most patients admitted are also malnourished. The outpatient clinic treats 100 children daily, for acute, parasitic, and bacterial infections. In specialized clinics, chronic conditions such as sickle cell anemia, congenital heart diseases (CHD), tuberculosis and cancer are treated for months or years if needed. St. Damien Pediatric Hospital and associated public health and community programs provide over 80,000 services to children and adults annually.