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Rebuilding nursing in Haiti

RB_Haititempschool_2010_article ICN President Rosemary Bryant travelled to Haiti to meet with members of ICN’s NNA, the Association Nationale des Infirmières Licenciées d'Haïti (ANILH) and Haitian nurse leaders. Shown during a visit to a UNICEF temporary school are Rosemary Bryant (fourth from left) and Lucile Charles, ANILH President (fifth from left) with other members of the NNA.
Following the violent earthquake which struck Haiti in January 2010 and destroyed the nursing school in Port-au Prince, killing 200 students and faculty, ICN established a fund to support nurses and nursing in Haiti, comprised of contributions from member national nurses associations (NNAs) and individual nurses. The outpouring of support was fantastic.

On behalf of the ANILH members, Mme Lucile Charles, President of ANILH, expressed appreciation to all the contributing NNAs and individuals for funds donated and for the solidarity and caring the donations expressed.

"I thank ICN and all the individuals, nurse colleagues and NNAs that donated funds which have helped us enormously and allowed us to get to where we are today", she said. "As president of the NNA, I am in close contact with nurses throughout the country who keep me informed about the situation, and it remains very difficult. The gifts from nurses throughout the world, coordinated by ICN, have allowed us to continue to work to help the people of our country".

The fund is dedicated to supporting nurses and nursing in Haiti, according to the needs identified by the Association Nationale des Infirmières Licenciées d'Haïti (ANILH). Shortly after the earthquake, approximately US $50 000 was sent from the ICN Fund to assist in providing basic needs for nurses, such as tents, blankets, and hygiene supplies. The distribution of these supplies was coordinated by ANILH.

The ICN Fund also contributed US $5 000 to fund a special nationwide meeting of nurses in Haiti to assess the best approach to rebuilding the ANILH and nursing services in the country. Further funds will be used to support the plan to rebuild the Haitian NNA's physical structure and to support its programmes.

Response to the cholera outbreak

Following the outbreak of a cholera epidemic in October, the ICN fund provided US $20 000 to support volunteer nurses in the fight against the disease. This enabled 45 nursing students to undergo training in cholera care at ANILH in December. This month, they will join a further 50 nurses to commence work at the Geskio Centre in the Artibonite region of Haiti, supported by the ICN fund.

In addition ICN is collaborating with the Swiss Red Cross, the Association Suisse des Infirmières/Infirmiers (the Swiss member NNA), and the French-speaking Schools of Nursing in Switzerland, on a project to rebuild the national nursing school.

ICN President's visit to Haiti

In October 2010, ICN President Rosemary Bryant visited Haiti to meet with the ANILH and Haitian nurse leaders, to bring the moral support of the global nursing community, and to assist with pressing policy matters. Addressing the nurses of Haiti, Ms Bryant said "Through difficult times you have kept on climbing and continued to be the back bone of your health care system. You are indeed an inspiration to all of us and I applaud you!"

Bibliothèque Mobile

Eight French-language nursing mobile libraries (Bibliothèque Mobile) will be delivered to Haiti in January. They will be deployed in identified hospitals, clinics and nursing schools. The libraries have been donated by the Swiss Nurses Association (ASI), the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), the University Hospital Centre Vaud (CHUV) and Elsevier USA.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 January 2011 12:01