Five years ago today a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and displacing approximately 1.5 million. Amidst the desolation, the chaos, and the debris, Grace Children's Hospital continued to provide healthcare services, despite severe structural damage, treating those injured from the earthquake in addition to their normal patient load. Hospital staff, individuals who had lost loved ones and homes, continued to return to work day after day, faithfully serving their fellow survivors.
Haiti, and the world, will always remember the tragedy that struck their homeland. However, five years later, the island nation has seen tremendous change. The number of tent cities have dramatically decreased and the World Bank has reported that the rate of extreme poverty in Haiti is also declining. In addition, the percentage of school-age children enrolled in school have risen from 78 percent in 2001 to 90 percent in 2012. At ICC, we believe that this change is something to be celebrated. Just as we celebrate the significant changes to Grace Children's Hospital post-earthquake.
Tents set up in the campus yard for patient care immediately following the earthquake have been replaced with transitional facilities, thanks to World Vision Canada, Canadian Hockey League, Containers to Clinics (C2C), Christian Alliance for Humanity Aid Inc., World Medical Relief, and countless individuals who believe in the future of Haiti and Grace Children's Hospital. Across the street from the main hospital, next to the ophthalmologic clinic which withstood the earthquake, is home to many outpatient services, including HIV/AIDs treatment, the pharmacy and the lab, as well as the inpatient pediatric wing.
In November 2014, a second floor addition to the outpatient and ophthalmologic clinic was completed. The space, which will be used for seminars, education and conferences, was funded by USAID and American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA). With the transitional phase of Grace Children's Hospital complete, ICC will be able to move toward with the groundbreaking of the new hospital.
Grace Children's Hospital and Haiti have come a long way since January 12, 2010. Although there is still a ways to go, and needs to be met, the future is bright for Haiti and Grace Children's Hospital. We invite you to be a part of our future. Donate now.