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Port-au-Prince, August 15, 2022 --- Norveline, 49, and mother of 3 children (2 girls and 1 boy), remembers the magnitude 7.2 earthquake of August 14, 2021.

She had injured a foot and her son, now 8, suffered a broken kidney after their house collapsed in the locality of Gerveau, in Asile, in southwestern Haiti. .

It was under the ruins of the community referral hospital, near her former home, that she and her son were treated.

Successfully operated, his son resumed his lessons in the fifth fundamental year.

Living alone with her three children, she continues her household activities on the land which housed the Community Reference Hospital.

“Since the earthquake, I have been living in a tent reinforced with sheet metal,” explains Norveline. “However, the anxiety passed,” she says. "I'm fine as well as my three children," she adds.

Health care after the earthquake

Norveline remembers the quality of care she and her son received. The health professionals present went above and beyond to help people in need. This medical care was given under a tree, under the ruins of the Community Referral Hospital in the commune of "l'Asile". She has a proud candle with regard to Eludernme Déenius, head nurse and midwife, who was among these professionals.

Norveline recalls Désir Murielle giving birth to her son, Yves, in a tent on the grounds of the earthquake-damaged Community Referral Hospital in "l'Asile". UNFPA Deputy Executive Director Diene Keita was visiting the scene at the time of this birth and several others in 2021.

Emotion and satisfaction

"It was heartbreaking that this baby was born in the grounds of this hospital which was flattened by the earthquake," Ms Keita said, adding that it was the efforts of several UN agencies - UNICEF, OCHA ( United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance) and the Humanitarian Air Service of the WFP (World Food Programme), UNHAS - who contributed to the "miracle of the birth of this baby".

The damage

The Community Referral Hospital in "l'Asile" is one of 18 damaged or destroyed health facilities receiving UNFPA support to continue providing reproductive health services in the area most affected by the disaster.

The earthquake killed more than 2,200 people, injured more than 12,000 and destroyed critical infrastructure, including hospitals, roads, bridges, schools, and households, in the departments of Sud, Grand'Anse and Nippes.

Fill the void

Health services having been interrupted, UNFPA wanted to provide the Nippes and the South with complete structures so-called hospitainers that allow the management of surgical cases, including emergencies and obstetric complications.

The 2 Hospitainers are granted by the Kingdom of Luxembourg to Haiti. They are intended to restore services interrupted after the earthquake. The Hospitainers are installed in the commune of "l'Asile" (Nippes) and at Camp Perrin (South).

Norveline welcomes the installation and assembly of hospitainers. “Getting them working soon will be very helpful for patients, especially pregnant women and newborns,” she says.

Since September 2021, in response to the earthquake and other crises, UNFPA has provided one million women with sexual and reproductive health services and supplies, including contraceptives, safe deliveries and Individual protection.

Story: Vario Sérant

Photos: Samuel Laméry