Dignitary Visit from the United States
A delegation of U.S. congressmen visited our St. Damien Pediatric Hospital in Haiti.
August 26, 2017 - Haiti
On July 30, 2017, a delegation of congressmen from the United States visited our St. Damien Pediatric Hospital in Tabarre.
This delegation included: U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), and U.S. Congressman Albio Sires, a ranking member of the HFAC Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; seven representatives Doug Lamborn of the House Armed Services Committee, Robin Kelly of the HFAC Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, David Schweikert of the Ways and Means Committee, Norma Torres of the HFAC Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Matt Gaetz of the House Armed Services Committee, Adriano Espaillat of the HFAC Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Scott Taylor of the House Committee on Appropriations.
The purpose of the visit was to evaluate the use of the ‘PEPFAR’ (President’s Emergency Plan for Aids’ Relief) funds for the HIV/AIDS and TB programs at the NPH St. Damien Pediatric Hospital. Many leaders from the hospital’s administration and HIV program were already waiting onsite to welcome the visitors; and when they arrived, the team was welcomed by NPH staff, Dr. Jenny Edouard, HIV Program Director, along with her team Mr. Gerard Casimir, Financial Chief Director and Mr. Andre Marie Jean Claude, the Chief Operations Manager.
The delegation of the Congressmen then entered the reception area and continued to the laboratory department, where they met Mrs. Bien Aimé Elcie, Chief of the Laboratory, who shared with them the success and difficulties she has encountered while working on the HIV program. As the manager of these projects, she explained how important the equipment is for them to perform quality exams for the children, and she also showed them the different machines they use, all of which were donated by PEPFAR and are useful to quickly perform tests, which helps both the doctor and patient.
The team then visited the HIV department to meet beneficiaries of the program. The different patients explained the distance they had traveled to be here at the clinic, and how good the program is for them. They explained how having the program meant they did not have to decide between treatment and running their small business, or paying for school fees for their children. Because of the NPH HIV program, families are able to receive treatment and not sacrifice caring for their families.
The HIV program has been around since the beginning of the St. Damien hospital: https://www.nph.org/ws/page.php?path=news/archive/2016/haiti/HIV.php&lang
We thank the delegation for their visit and are grateful for their support. With the PEPFAR partnership, St. Damien is able to help hundreds of mothers and children that are living with HIV, every year.