In the developing world — particularly in the remote communities where poor families often reside — quality medical care can be hard to come by. In Haiti, for instance, there is less than one physician available for every 4,000 people. Many families in remote areas also suffer from a lack of affordable transportation. Few can reach distant health clinics or hospitals, and even if they find a way to reach those facilities, they are often unable to afford treatment.
Without prompt medical care, even easily treatable sicknesses can become chronic ailments and minor wounds can turn into life-threatening infections.
Surely God must grieve to see our brothers and sisters losing their lives to medical problems that could have been prevented with proper care!
Thankfully, devoted Catholic ministries around the world are striving to reach the poor through mobile health clinics. These clinics go into some of the most remote communities on Earth, often traveling for hours to reach families in need of medical attention. Following Haiti’s 2021 earthquake, for example, Cross Catholic Outreach was able to equip partners, such as Grand’Anse Health and Development Association, and empower them to share Christ’s healing love in the midst of a hope-crushing crisis.
Haiti’s Grand’Anse department is located at the southwest end of the Tiburon Peninsula. Many of its communities are extremely remote and lack developed infrastructures, such as electricity, paved roads and accessible health facilities. They are also extremely vulnerable to natural disasters. The Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system runs directly beneath the peninsula — and it was along this fault line that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated lives in August of 2021.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, thousands of people were injured, and many homes were severely damaged. Some families started crowding together in any small shelter they could find, and diseases ran rampant. Local health facilities were overwhelmed by the number of needs in the region.
“After the earthquake, there were many areas like this that were remote and did not have enough assistance, dispensaries and health clinics. The distance was too long … so we found it necessary to [coordinate] a mobile health clinic,” said Fremot Jean Kenol, a Haitian doctor who volunteered his skills to help survivors. “After the earthquake, there were neglected fractures that we found, people who were [injured] and did not consult a doctor and instead tried to heal themselves. We were dealing with infected wounds.”
Skin conditions such as scabies also became a serious issue due to people living in overcrowded, unhygienic conditions. Without assistance, Kenol and other compassionate medical professionals would not have had the resources to address these painful issues. But with help from Cross Catholic Outreach and our partners in Haiti, their mobile health clinics were equipped to deliver relief.
Cross Catholic Outreach supports Catholic medical missions in two different ways:
One of our ministry partners in Haiti is the Grand’Anse Health and Development Association (GAHDA) — an inspiring organization that strengthens Haitian communities by providing free health care; supporting skills development for Haitian health professionals; and empowering families with health education, microenterprise programs and more.
After the 2021 earthquake, we were able to airlift 3,200 pounds of donated relief supplies, which GAHDA helped distribute to at least 17 rural health clinics throughout the region. Because of this provision, doctors such as Kenol were able to provide critical treatment for suffering patients. Still, Kenol emphasized, many families remain in dire need of care.
“The people are really happy for the services they’ve received,” he said. “We would like other communities to benefit from this because the needs are still there, and the needs are huge.”
In nations such as Haiti, many sick and injured people are desperate for medical care — and mobile health clinics have the potential to save their lives.
“As soon as you announce that you’re coming to do a mobile clinic,” Kenol explained, “you can see the people are thirsty for it. They come in large numbers.”
Moved by God’s call to love the poor and heal the sick, Catholic medical missions want to provide lifesaving examinations, medicines and health education for communities that remain in urgent need — but your help is required to make these missions of mercy successful!
Your generous support will equip mobile health clinics, as well as Catholic hospitals and medical outposts, to serve the poor in developing countries around the world. Please donate to share hope and healing in the mighty name of Jesus!
Every month (on the 25th)
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2023, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.