Zanmi Lasante continued to deepen and broaden its services to the poor of Haiti in 2006, inaugurating new facilities, programs and partnerships. Even as Zanmi Lasante mourned the tragic death of Jean Gabriel fils, who had led and inspired construction of dozens of new homes and other activities of the Program on Social and Economic Rights (POSER), ZL staff found new resolve to carry on his commitment to social justice.

Highlights of ZL’s accomplishments in 2006 included:

Expanding the HIV Equity Initiative: In 2006, Zanmi Lasante expanded its groundbreaking HIV Equity Initiative beyond the Central Plateau to two new sites in the Artibonite region of Haiti. The Artibonite clinics were rapidly scaled up to offer people living with HIV the same PIH model of comprehensive care—including accompaniment, socioeconomic support, and free medical care—that has proven so successful since Zanmi Lasante launched the HIV Equity Initiative in 2000 and extended it throughout the Central Plateau. 

 Inauguration of new Zanmi Lasante facilities in Cerca La Source
Inauguration of the new Zanmi Lasante facilities at Cerca La Source

Opening new clinical facilities: In August 2006, Zanmi Lasante and the Haitian Ministry of Health inaugurated a medical center in the Central Plateau town of Thomonde. This new facility provides comprehensive primary care and HIV/AIDS services to an average of 200 patients per day. During 2006, ZL also officially inaugurated a new clinic in Cerca La Source, a new pavilion in Hinche and the Sante Fanm women's health center in Cange.

Fortifying human resources for child survival: With the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Zanmi Lasante expanded its child survival and maternal health programs in 2006 to cover all ZL satellite sites. ZL hired and trained new staff to work on pediatric programs in clinics and expand community outreach activities. With ZL staff running mobile vaccine clinics, rally posts and door-to-door distribution, access to childhood vaccinations increased dramatically. In addition, approximately 70-80 traditional birth attendants per site received ongoing monthly training in safe delivery care. 

 Distributing school lunches
Distributing school lunches

Treating child hunger with food: Zanmi Lasante rolled out an extensive child nutrition program in the Central Plateau in 2006, with support from the Johnson and Johnson Foundation, Meds and Food for Kids, and the World Food Program. More than 17,000 children now receive daily school lunches free of charge through the program. ZL also began local production of nutritionally fortified therapeutic food for malnourished children in November 2006.  

Continuing Ti Jean's work – building houses:  Colleagues and friends of Jean Gabriel fils (Ti Jean), who had led and inspired Zanmi Lasante’s Program on Social and Economic Rights (POSER), promised that Ti Jean’s tragic death on May 28 would not derail his life work of building new homes for destitute people in the Central Plateau. And they kept their promise. As 2006 came to an end, POSER was nearing completion of the last of 70 houses that had been identified as top priorities for the year. Throughout the Central Plateau, hundreds of sturdy houses attest to Ti Jean’s tireless commitment to social and economic rights for the poor.

[posted January 2007]