When Maudelin Mesadieu was 9 years old, he watched helplessly as his father died.
His parents were farmers in Mombin Crochu, a small village in northeast Haiti. When his father became ill, his family could not afford to provide him with professional medical care in a hospital.
That’s when Maudelin knew he wanted to become not just a doctor, but a doctor who provided care to the needy. That decision was reinforced years later, when his uncle’s medical expenses left him so impoverished that he could not afford to purchase medications and died at home.
Maudelin went to medical school at Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince with the financial assistance of American benefactors who met him during a mission trip to Haiti. After receiving his medical degree, Maudelin founded Unité de Lutte pour la Santé, a nonprofit organization whose name roughly translates to “Fighting for Health,” in Bande du Nord (also known as Fort Bourgeois).
Maudelin chose this community because there was a great need for health services. Located in a mountainous area of Cap-Haitien, its residents had to travel for miles to reach the nearest healthcare facility.
“One of the reasons we decided to come to Fort Bourgeois is that there was not a health center in the area,” he said. “So we created one to serve the population.”
For years, ULS operated a small clinic in a leased building in Bande du Nord. Realizing that he needed to expand to better serve the community’s 25,000 residents (and more in nearby communities), Mesadieu convinced local land owners to donate a parcel of land for a new clinic. Konbit Sante, a partner of ULS since 2012, provided engineering and architectural expertise and raised more than $200,000 for site excavation, building construction, and program support. The new clinic opened in 2019, and was supplemented by a solar panel array the following year to provide power during electrical outages.
Today, ULS provides general consultation, medication, laboratory tests, immunizations, treatment for childhood malnutrition, family planning, and other services at the Bande du Nord clinic and at a second clinic in Maudelin’s hometown of Mombin Crochu. It also provides outreach healthcare services to the community via a mobile clinic that visits remote areas to conduct medical exams, deliver healthcare education, provide vaccinations, and give referrals to the health center if patients require a greater degree of care.
Most of the clinic’s supplies and medicines are donated by the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and nonprofit organizations such as Konbit Sante. The health center offers services whether patients can pay or not, and the staff work on a volunteer basis when funding opportunities are low.
Maudelin credits Konbit Sante for the Bande du Nord clinic’s existence and success in providing essential healthcare services to the community.
“I am very thankful to Konbit Sante and to my supporters for helping to make this dream come true,” he said. “Konbit Sante is the heart of ULS. There would be no ULS without Konbit Sante.”