Mother's Day in Haiti
May 25, 2017
This year, I had the great fortune to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mother in Ethiopia. My mother and grandmother left their home, their extended family, and their community to resettle in another country so that I could have a chance at a good future. Mother's Day in Haiti is celebrated this coming Sunday, and I see the same love, determination, and sacrifice in the mothers whom I encounter every day at work in northern Haiti.
One such mother is Mrs. Altanese. I met her recently in the neonatal care unit of the Justinian University Hospital (JUH). In the nine days since she went into labor, Mrs. Altanese had travelled two hours from her home town to give birth at JUH, experienced a potentially life-threatening obstetrical complication, and witnessed her first child struggle to breath at birth. The day we met, Mrs. Altanese was exhausted but grateful for the care that she and her child received and anxiously watching over her child’s recovery.
Mrs. Altanese, like all mothers, wants her child to have a chance at a good future. Konbit Sante’s partnership with the Pediatric Service at the Justinien University Hospital (JUH) works to make that vision a reality. Over the past few years, we have collaborated with the Pediatric Service to establish a system of emergency neonatal care that ensures a well-trained staff, equipped with appropriate supplies, is available to provide immediate care for newborns in distress.
I am thinking about Mrs. Altanese and her baby, about mothers all over the world who sacrifice with great love to give their children a happy and healthy future, and the communities (both near and far) that are dedicated to supporting them.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in Haiti!