“Do good in the life of every individual”

by Rene Lako/RBU,  2010/12/04

Some days ago – ten months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti – the great day had finally arrived: the „Hospital of Hope“, where humedica teams had started treating patients immediately after the terrible disaster, reopened its doors after complex renovation works had been finished.

In January the victims of the heavy earthquake had to be treated outdoors, lying on the ground. Photo: humedica

Parts of the building that had been in danger of collapsing had to be renovated, sanitary installations needed to be renewed. A ramp has been built specifically for disabled patients in order to spare them the difficult way over the stairs. The entire electricity system has been renewed and many more refurbishment works have been implemented.

In the framework of a festive celebration the “Hopital Espoir” was reopened once more by hospital director Dr Gladys Thomas. humedica employee Rene Lako interviewed her about this special day in her life, which also is a very special day to all the patients who have been cared for at the hospital and will be cared for there in future.

Many of the ideas for the renovation and for the reopening ceremony came up thanks to the cooperation with humedica,” said the hospital director. “We have been working side by side since the earthquake that took place on January 12, this year. Back then, the humedica mission teams supported our hospital immediately after the disaster and at first mainly treated victims of the earthquake.

But also after some time had passed after the earthquake, humedica stayed. While the doctors and nurses continued treating the patients, I had more time to organise the refurbishment works and the expansion of the “Hopital Espoir”.

Thanks to the excellent cooperation between hospital director Gladys Thomas and the humedica teams, great achievements could be reached during the past months. Photo: humedica/Rene Lako

While the renovation works progressed step by step, the humedica mission team members continued treating the patients in tents outdoors. A large part of the people suffered from traumas so severe that entering a building caused them to enter a state of anxiety anyway.

Just as did the patients’ healing process, also the works at the hospital building progressed. “Amidst all the destruction and in the middle of this country of rubble, we wanted to set a good example to the Haitian population and show them that reconstruction is possible and feasible if you make some effort”, explained Gladys Thomas.

We wanted to show the population that everything is possible when you join forces. And we had the objective of encouraging them to make efforts on their own. With our motto – “Do good and change the life of every individual person” – we want to bring the love of God to our patients”.

And so they did immediately at the day the hospital was reopened. Up to 200 patients were treated in the newly renovated and equipped hospital rooms. Hence, the “Hospital of Hope” lived up to its name already on the first day and many people received what the millennium earthquake had taken from them: hope.

humedica is grateful for the fact that we have been able to work together with hospital director Gladys Thomas and the local staff since the fatal disaster at the beginning of the year. By joining forces, we could save lives, ease pain and suffering and give new courage to live.

The newly built access ramp is a great relief in particular to persons whose limbs had to be amputated due to severe injuries. Photo: humedica/Irmgard Harms

Now the “Hospital of Hope” will be a place where people can go to any day and with any kind of problems and it will also play an essential role in the fight against cholera. Furthermore, in particular the prosthetics and orthotics project which has been initiated by humedica will help the people deal with every-day life; with the objective of implementing this project, humedica coordinator Wendell Endley set out for Haiti a few days ago.

Thank you very much for accompanying us on our path. Soon, we will provide you with more detailed information about the already running prosthetics and orthotics project on our homepage. Thank you very much for your interest, your support and commitment for the people in Haiti.

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