Did you know?
It was a big promise, but it had to be in order to meet the immense needs of the shaken country.
When IMA CEO Rick Santos was miraculously pulled from the rubble of the Hotel Montana more than two days after the 2010 earthquake, he vowed that IMA would work to rebuild and strengthen Haiti for “as long as it takes.”As the second anniversary of the earthquake approaches on January 12, IMA is still hard at work in Haiti and is looking back over the past two years with a sense of achievement and hope.
A lot has happened in two years.
There were major challenges in the early weeks and months following the earthquake – including destroyed infrastructure, a cholera outbreak, national elections and tropical storms – that jeopardized IMA’s existing programs.
However, within a few short months of determined reprogramming, IMA and partners were able to resume mass drug administration (MDA) through the USAID-funded program to control and prevent Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). This was a critical hurdle to overcome, as MDA must be conducted annually for at least 5-7 years in order to be effective; a gap in treatment, even due to a major natural disaster, could undo years of work and progress already invested.
Since the earthquake, IMA has supported over 4.7 million people annually for treatment against NTDs. In addition, IMA has started a new program and expanded on existing ones in order to strengthen health systems, provide essential medicines and supplies and to meet health needs.
Other achievements since the earthquake have included:
And that’s just a quick snapshot.
“Our work is about far more than numbers,” said Santos. “By the time IMA’s work is done in Haiti, we’re hoping that we’ll have helped to eliminate disease and suffering and to have strengthened the communities and clinics where we work to become self-sufficient in caring for the health needs of their populations.”Want to help? IMA will be hosting a fundraiser at Hudson Restaurant and Lounge in Washington DC from 4:30-7:00pm on January 12, the second anniversary of the quake, to raise support for health and development programs in Haiti.
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