The Unite de Lutte pour la Sante (ULS) Health Center serves a semi-rural population in the mountainous outskirts of Cap-Haitien – an area known as Band-du-Nord. Area residents work at coastal resorts, are small merchants, or are engaged in agriculture or mining.
As in other parts of northern Haiti, residents of Band-du-Nord suffer from malnutrition exacerbated by soaring inflation, lack of access to clean water, and a recurrence of cholera. Until ULS was established, the closest health care provider was Justinien Hospital, an advanced care facility.
— Dr. Maudelin Mesadieu
Medical Director, ULS Health Center
The ULS Health Center was founded in 2010 by Haitian doctors, nurses, and other community supporters. Dr. Maudelin Mesadieu has been a vital part of the organization since its inception. Originally from Mombin Crochu in northeast Haiti, Dr. Mesadieu knew from an early age that he wanted to be a physician in order to save lives and serve the poor.
The health center is run by 29 doctors, nurses, community health workers, and support staff. ULS provides a wide assortment of services, including general consultation, patient education, maternal and child health, family planning (pills, injections, implants, and vasectomies), a prenatal clinic, and labor and delivery services. It also provides immunizations, a diabetic and high blood pressure program, a dental clinic, a laboratory, sonography, a pharmacy, a mobile clinic, rally posts, home visits, and a traditional birth attendant program.
“We understand that good health is more than just good medicine and have developed programs and services that support good nutrition, economic well-being, and education,” says Dr. Mesadieu. “These programs include providing micro-loans to women for small business development and programs to feed the poorest of the poor. Our goal is to develop a partnership with residents, helping them to become self-sufficient.”
ULS has been a Konbit Sante partner since 2012. At that time, ULS operated in temporary rental space. Konbit Sante volunteers, donors, and staff worked to design, fund, and build the current permanent facility, which opened in 2019. It is now the primary health center for the Band-du-Nord community of more than 25,000 people. In 2020, Konbit Sante funded the installation of solar panels (installed by JustEnergy), allowing the health center to stay open despite the public grid’s closure and the soaring cost of fuel for generators. Ongoing support for ULS includes acquiring and delivering medicines, equipment, and supplies, including a recently delivered ultrasound machine for the center’s OB/GYN service. “Our work is inspired by partners like Dr. Mesadieu who has a deep commitment to caring for his community,” says Konbit Sante Executive Director, Tezita Negussie.
Dr. Mesadieu describes Konbit Sante as “ULS’ ambassador, always looking for opportunities to help ULS build its internal capacity and to support ULS with medical equipment and materials so we can offer better care to patients.”
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