Recap: Day 4 – December 17

The last full day in Haiti started with the delegates visiting a local business development community followed by a meeting with the Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities, Gerald Oriol, Jr. Secretary Oriol, Jr. is the head of the Bureau du Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées (BSEIPH), which aims to establish public policy for the integration of disabled people into all spheres of life in Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake the needs of people with physical disabilities rose dramatically. Under Oriol’s leadership the government and civil society are working together for change. One impact of change is all new buildings in Haiti will have disability ramps and bathrooms. Thanks to the US government many schools have been modified for ramp access, making school more accessible for more children.

The delegates and Secretary Gerald Oriol, Jr. Photo credit: Therese Cafaro/USAID/Haiti.

The delegates and Secretary Gerald Oriol, Jr. Photo credit: Therese Cafaro/USAID/Haiti.

After their meeting and overview of BSEIPH, the delegates visited Healing Hands for Haiti (HHH) Rehab Center in Port-au-Prince. HHH trains Haitians to deliver quality, sustainable physical medicine and rehabilitation education,, training, and care for adults and children with physical disabilities in Haiti. Prosthetic limbs are also made and fitted on site. Through their meeting with Secretary Oriol, Jr. and visit to HHH, the delegates gained a better understanding of how Haiti is meeting the needs of its disabled citizens and empowering them to help themselves.

During the afternoon, the group had the opportunity to meet with the Haitian Minister for Public Health and Population Dr. Florence Guillaume. Minister Guillaume provided the delegates with an overview of the MSPP’s work and how it is addressing health systems strengthening, donor partnerships and investments, and successes and challenges in ongoing earthquake reconstruction efforts. The delegates engaged in discussion with Minister Guillaume on Haiti’s health plans for the future and their National Health Plan.

Minister Guillaume (left) engages in discussion with the Congressional staff delegates during their meeting at the MSPP. Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH.

Minister Guillaume (left) and Assistant Director MSPP Dr. Jean Patrick Alfred (middle) engage in discussion with the Congressional staff delegates during their meeting at the MSPP. Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH.

After their visit to the MSPP, the delegates toured the L’Hôpital Universitaire d’ État d’ Haïti (HUEH) and National Campus of Health Sciences (NCHS). These facilities were massively impacted by the earthquake, with almost 50% of HUEH being destroyed. During the tour, the delegates were able to witness firsthand the progresses that have been made rebuilding these facilities, thanks to a joint effort between the Haitian, US, and French governments, and the impact they have in providing essential health services to the Haitian population.

Finally, what a better way to celebrate an amazing week and the last night in Haiti than to do with Haitian food and art. The delegates were welcomed to Kolektif 509, a local art gallery whose mission is to promote the artwork of contemporary artists in Haiti by showcasing their talent both locally and internationally. The delegates engaged with Haitian and US leaders from both the public and private sectors. Guests included Uder Antoine, General Coordinator of the Management and Human Resources Office of the Government of Haiti as well as USAID/Haiti staff and members of the private sector community.

reception 1

Delegate and reception guest at the Haitian Leaders Reception. Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH.

Reception guests and delegates pose for a quick picture. Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH.

Reception guests and delegates pose for a quick picture. Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH.

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