Bringing maternal and prenatal healthcare to women in Haiti

The Saint Rock Haiti Foundation (SRHF) has been working to bring hope, compassion, and dignity to those living in the rural mountain communities high above Port-Au-Prince by providing healthcare since 2002.

There are many outstanding nonprofits based in the Greater Boston area that provide healthcare to those in need — both locally and globally. It is with great pride that we support these organizations, including Saint Rock Haiti Foundation (SRHF), to extend our reach beyond the U.S. and bring hope, compassion, and resources to global communities. 

SRHF has provided healthcare to those living in the rural mountain communities of Haiti high above Port-Au-Prince since 2002. Based in Milton, SRHF has changed the lives of Haitians who didn’t have access to clean water or any type of medical care. In 2022, SRHF staff recorded approximately 13,000 patient visits and currently have more than 65,000 total registered patients in their system.

Recently, SRHF has focused on maternal and prenatal healthcare, changing and saving lives. Maternal mortality rates in Haiti are 20 times higher than in the U.S. and infant mortality rates are nearly ten times higher. While the cause for these rates is complicated and multi-faceted, it’s no secret that most healthcare facilities in Haiti lack the basic machinery and technology needed to accurately track and monitor pregnancies such as an ultrasound machine.

With the help of a Catholic Health Foundation grant, SRHF was able to purchase a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine for their new maternal care center. The machine is durable and can be easily transported by care teams. This device has not only made a huge difference in the clinic, but also in the community.

SRHF President Jocelyn Bresnahan couldn’t help but smile when she told us, “We used to have dedicated days for prenatal appointments, but women are so excited to get hooked up to the machine and see their babies, that they come in every day of the week to be seen!”

And the Medical Director in Haiti, Dr. J. Kenes Eloy, is all too happy to oblige the women. Jocelyn laughs as she explains, “[Dr. Eloy] can’t say no! He really loves using the machine. I think he has more fun than the mothers sometimes!”

Last year, more than 1,300 pregnant women were seen by SRHF medical staff. For the women and SRHF staff, the ultrasound machine represents much more than new medical technology. It represents hope — the hope that pregnancies in the community will be safer and that babies will be born healthier.

There is a Haitian proverb, “men anpil chay pa lou,” which in English translates to “many hands make the load lighter.” Our brothers and sisters in Haiti have known more tragedy and poverty than most populations on this planet. As Christians, we are called to help those in need, and the work of SRHF helps make maternal and prenatal healthcare possible in Haiti. 

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