Port-au-Prince, Haiti,–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–January 23, 2003–Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) announced earlier this week that it is launching a major public health initiative in Haiti in association with the Catholic Church, the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco, and the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation. The programs will allow these faith-based entities to initiate and sustain preventive health activities for mothers and children throughout the Caribbean nation.
In making the announcement at a press conference at the Hotel Montana in Petionville, John F. Galbraith, President and Chief Executive Officer of CMMB, said, “We are honored to be working together here with the Catholic Church, the Salesian Sisters, and the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation to provide new and expanded programs to benefit the health of Haitian women and children.”
Rabia Mathai, CMMB’s Global Director-Programs, commented that “the focus of the programs in the ‘Back to Haiti’ Initiative will be on the country’s most critical healthcare issues, especially high infant mortality rates, and poor access to healthcare for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS.”
Noting that CMMB has donated over US $31 million in medicines and medical supplies to Haiti over the past decade, Mr. Galbraith also said, “We are proud that the ‘Back to Haiti’ Initiative strengthens our commitment to the country that inspired the establishment of CMMB.”
CMMB was founded by Dr. Paluel Flagg, a young anesthesiologist working at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York in the 1920’s, who was struck by the plight of the sick and indigent during a visit to Port-au-Prince. Catholic Medical Mission Board was formally incorporated in 1928, and the “Back To Haiti” Initiative was so named to commemorate CMMB’s 75 years of healthcare service to millions of people in developing nations worldwide.
The programs in the “Back To Haiti” Initiative are:
— Salesian Sisters School-Based Health Program
— Salesian Sisters Daycare Center in Hinche
— Capacity Building and Empowerment of the
Catholic Church for Community HIV/AIDS Initiatives
— Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/The St. Boniface-CMMB PMTCT Project
“Our ‘Back To Haiti’ Initiative pays tribute to an effort that began 75 years ago in Haiti,” said Dr. Dianne Jean-Francois, CMMB’s Country Director for Haiti and the Dominican Republic, “and we have been here ever since, delivering much-needed medicines and medical support to the impoverished and sick.” She added, “These programs are structured to save the lives of the children who are the future of Haiti. They will now be provided with improved access to primary healthcare information, medicines, and treatment that will enable them to lead healthier lives.”
CMMB is the leading U.S.-based Catholic charity that focuses exclusively on international healthcare. Founded in 1928, CMMB works collaboratively to provide quality healthcare without discrimination to people in need around the world. In 2002, CMMB provided $97 million in healthcare assistance to people worldwide.
Editors: To schedule interviews with John F. Galbraith, Rabia Mathai, or Dr. Jean-Francois, please contact Norma Vavolizza at 212-687-0607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional news about the history and work of the Catholic Medical Mission Board, visit www.cmmb.org.