The gleaming white hospital appears out of nowhere in the bustle of this impoverished city in the Central Plateau of Haiti.
It seems even more out of place when you consider what's inside: 300 beds — more than All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Six operating rooms. A neonatal intensive care unit. A CT scanner, the only one available to the public in Haiti. Most important, patients. More than 10,000 have seen clinicians since the hospital opened this spring.
It's one of the few visible signs of progress since the 2010 earthquake leveled Port-au-Prince.
More than half of American households donated after the earthquake to help a poor country with bad luck. But for the most part, the grand plans of building back better have not materialized. The 1.5 million people living in tents after the earthquake are fewer, but many were forcibly evicted. A garment factory and a luxury hotel, both underwritten by aid, opened with fanfare. These milestones hardly amount to a resounding victory for the people of Haiti.
Against this disappointing effort, L'hopital Universitaire de Mirebalais (University Hospital) stands out as a testament to how much can be accomplished in Haiti. It can teach us how to achieve rebuilding and development with effective aid that endures, and better deliver on the generosity of the American people.
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