Above: Port-au-Prince (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti and the United States have officially inaugurated a pair of new public health buildings in Port-au-Prince.
US Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White and CDC Director Tom Frieden led the opening ceremony Monday, joined by Haiti Minister of Public Health Dr Florence Guillaume and representatives from donor partners.
The buildings were supported through a partnership between CDC, the CDC Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and the foundation of New York Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson, along with Proteus On-Demand and medical company BD.
Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health will use the buildings for its division of epidemiology, laboratory and research, accompanied by the the Haiti office of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
“‘Building back better’ isn’t just a slogan, it’s a reality in public health. These buildings represent an important step forward to save lives in Haiti,” said Dr.Tom Frieden, CDC Director. “These new buildings have an importance far beyond their physical presence—they will serve as a basis and catalyst for programs that will save literally tens of thousands of lives.”
The buildings will help in the transition of the Ministry of Public Health from temporary to permanent space.
“We are grateful that our partners recognized the need for a comprehensive response to the earthquake in Haiti and for their generous contributions to build these new facilities,” said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “The CDC Foundation is positioned to help CDC and its public health partners secure crucial resources.”
The largest donation for the project was a $2 million contribution from the GE foundation.
“These investments are another positive action helping to move Haiti’s public health system from the disaster and recovery phase into a longer-term solution,” Guillaume said.