he Rotary Clubs of Punta Gorda and Palmetto, District 6960 in Florida, and the Hinche-Centre Rotary Club, District 7020 in Haiti, are committed to improving maternal and child health in Thomassique, Haiti. We are partnered with Medical Missionaries, an NGO that supports the St. Joseph Clinic in Thomassique. Our goals are to treat severely malnourished children, prevent the underlying causes of malnutrition, and empower and educate caregivers.
We will support the clinic as well as its network of five community health centers, and mobile clinics to serve outlying villages. "Many people," reports clinic physician Lawrence Mercier, "live far away and do not always have access to a motorcycle, horse, or donkey for transport, so they would have to walk very long distances to the clinic, which leads them to just stay home and not receive care."
Haiti is in particular need of help in improving maternal & child health. 1 in 5 children in Haiti are malnourished. 7% of children die before the age of 5. 40% of families face daily food insecurity. In 2018, 65,000 children under the age of 5 were malnourished and 17,000 died of it. Additionally, Covid-19 has made food insecurity acute.
Our NGO partner Medical Missionaries uses a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUFT) called Medika Mamba to treat malnourished children under the age of five. Medika Mamba is a peanut butter paste fortified with vitamins and nutrients that the World Health Organization identifies as "the gold standard" for treating malnutrition. Additionally, we are working to control malaria in St. Thomassique, and provide for sustainable local food producation.
This is the first of an anticipated five global grants to achieve our overall goals in Thomassique, Haiti, and we are seeking other clubs to partner with us by contributing to this first global grant. A typical club contribution is $1,000-$2,000 but any amount is welcome. We also encourage you to seek DDF (District Designated Funds) match to help your contribution multiply up to 3 times!