COVID-19 Infections and Armed Violence Escalate in Haiti

Haiti was able to weather the first COVID-19 wave that began two years ago without developing a major public health crisis. In May 2021, the second COVID-19 wave hit, driven by two, more infectious, virus variants from Brazil and Great Britain. Documented COVID-19 cases and fatalities are up more than fivefold and hospitals in Port-au-Prince (PAP) are saturated with COVID-19 patients. The surge in COVID-19 infections is occurring amidst a surge of armed gang violence that has caused the death and forced displacement of thousands of Haitian citizens.

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Empowering Women though Health – 10 Year Anniversary of Haitian Women’s Health Program

On March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day, the Alma Mater Hospital and the women of Gros Morne joined the staff and volunteers of MFP to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the Women’s Health Initiative.

Ten years ago, MFP nurses, physicians and volunteers met with representatives of women’s organizations in Gros Morne to initiate a program to dramatically improve the health of Haitian women. Gerandale Thelusma, the only woman in the Haitian House of Delegates, was present and gave an inspiring talk in support of the program. She pleaded with the women in her constituency to embrace the program in order to prevent the host of diseases that incapacitate Haitian women. Continue reading

MFP Responds to Health Crisis in Haiti

Since February 2019, Haiti has been shaken by civil disturbances. These started in the capital, Port-au-Prince, but quickly spread across the island nation. The unrest began as anti-corruption marches but spiraled into riots, streets barricaded by burning tires, gang violence, and deadly clashes between police and demonstrators. Medicine for Peace volunteers and staff have been forcibly held and threatened by armed gangs at roadblocks, necessitating enhanced security measures to protect MFP workers. Continue reading

Combating Cervical Cancer in Rural Haiti

cervical cancer eradication

Cervical cancer is a disease that primarily afflicts poor women, and Haiti has the highest rates in the world. In March 2010, Medicine For Peace (MFP) implemented a strategic plan to decrease deaths from cervical cancer in the Gros Morne region. The program has now screened more than 6,500 women, and evolved into a model comprehensive cancer control program. We have recently expanded our program to target an additional 35,000 women at risk for developing this lethal cancer.

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Women’s Health Month in Gros Morne


The banner that hangs in front of the Alma Mater Hospital read, “March is Women’s Health Month. Free Examinations and Treatment.” Medicine and treatment have always been at no cost for our patients, but in March we waved the minimal fee that the hospital charges for clinic visits, as well. During the past months, Orna, our head nurse, spoke at all the Sunday Church services, and on the three radio stations in town.
“Protect your health. Come to the women’s clinic. Do this for your children, do it for yourself.” Continue reading

Srebrenica Revisited

As soon as we entered Bosnia-Herzegovina in July 1995, we learned that the Serbs had overrun the United Nations designated “safe area” of Srebrenica. Approximately 60,000 civilians had been held up in the Srebrenica enclave, and subjected to a blockade of food for three years and to intermittent artillery bombardment. Continue reading

Milestone Reached: MFP Screens 2,000 Haitian Women for Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer rates in Haiti are among the highest in the world. MFP initiated a cervical cancer detection and treatment program in May 2010 at the Alma Mater Hospital in Gros Morne. While the cornerstone of the program is cervical cancer screening and prevention, the program provides a general gynecological examination, testing for sexually transmitted infections (including HIV screening), breast examinations, and counseling services in health-promoting behavior. The MFP program is a collaboration between Haitian and U.S. health professionals, and is one of the few high-volume cancer screening programs in Haiti. Continue reading