Although Hope for Haiti
began with a focus in education, Founder and President JoAnne Kuehner joined forces in 1997 with Dr. Keith Hussey, a gastroenterologist, to incorporate nutrition and healthcare into the organization's initiatives. Hope for Haiti
quickly discovered that providing support for nutrition and healthcare is absolutely critical to promoting educational success. Educating children cannot succeed when they and their parents have no access to quality medical care or if they are suffering from severe malnutrition. Today, Hope for Haiti
touches the lives of over 500,000 men, women, and children by providing financial and medical support to over 60 healthcare and nutrition centers. Medications and healthcare materials are distributed annually. In 2009-2010 alone Hope for Haiti
distributed more than $50 million in medical supplies to locations in need.
To reduce and prevent instances of malnutrition in children under the age of five.
The most critical time in any child's development is before the age of five. In Haiti, malnutrition and dehydration, two easily treatable and preventable conditions, lead to an exceptionally high infant mortality rate in children of this age. The overwhelming poverty and lack of sanitation leaves many babies and young children prone to suffering and, in many cases, early death. If a malnourished child does survive, the duration of illness can damage his or her brain functioning, immune system, and overall physical/mental wellbeing for years to come. Treating cases of malnutrition early is therefore critical not only to a child's survival, but also to their overall growth and development.
Hope for Haiti
has seen how medical nutrition programs can quickly transform a lifeless child suffering from malnutrition into an energetic, playful boy or girl. For this reason, Hope for Haiti
supports medical nutrition programs and healthcare facilities with financial resources, medications and medical supplies, vitamins, and food aid. In line with our ideology of partnership, we combat malnutrition through local institutions that provide nutrition support and medical treatment to suffering children in an effort to reduce infant mortality. These facilities also provide educational seminars for parents on how to better care for their children and prevent recurring symptoms.
In the regions where these programs are located, staff members have seen a substantial reduction in cases of malnutrition, meaning that more infants are staying healthy, more children are going to school, and more families are learning about proper nutrition and healthcare methods to keep their loved ones well.