More than 100,000 patient visits each year
Since 1982, GHESKIO has provided world-class medical care to the poorest of the poor in Haiti. Because our patients live in extreme poverty, they are at high risk for many diseases. That’s why we always provide healthcare free of charge, including tests, diagnoses, treatment services and medications.
We provide full-scale medical services, with a special focus on these programs:
HIV testing, counseling, and treatment
For more than 40 years, we’ve partnered with leading organizations to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our researchers identified contaminated blood transfusions as a major mode of HIV transmission, and then worked with the government to place the Haitian Red Cross in total control of blood banking. We conducted clinical trials to define effective therapeutic and preventive interventions for HIV. We documented the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-poor settings, and published ART treatment initiation criteria that led the World Health Organization to change international guidelines.
In 1985, we opened the country’s first HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center. The number of people seeking testing continues to increase. We partnered with the Ministry of Health to reduce the rate of transmission of HIV from pregnant mother to child from 30% to less than 4%. As our HIV care and prevention services have expanded, HIV prevalence has decreased from 6.2% to less than 2% in 2021.
We’ve partnered with the Ministry of Health to implement our prevention and care model to a network of more than 27 healthcare centers. GHESKIO provides training, supervision, financial oversight and quality control for all HIV and TB clinical services at these sites.
Tuberculosis testing and treatment
Tuberculosis remains a major health threat worldwide, particularly in Haiti. That’s why we’ve provided TB testing and treatment since the day we opened our doors.
We’re now the largest TB center in Haiti, diagnosing approximately 3,000 patients per year. We place a special focus on drug-resistant TB patients, with a hospital that houses up to 33 patients in an open, sunlit space.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart failure and strokes, is now the #1 cause of death in Haitian adults. 30% of all deaths in Haiti are related to CVD, and Haiti has the highest stroke mortality in the western hemisphere.
GHESKIO is working to reduce Haiti’s CVD deaths by providing care and leading ground-breaking research. However, we face a critical shortage of equipment and medicines. Your support will help us fight the CVD epidemic in Haiti.
Caring for mothers and children
We care for the most vulnerable in Haiti, especially mothers and children.
Our Mothers’ Program supports the needs of pregnant women and new mothers. Mothers’ Clubs meet monthly so women can learn about prenatal care and infant nutrition and build a support network. Life-skills training builds self-esteem and enables women to improve their health and their lives.
In addition, we conduct community-outreach activities and home visits to refer sick children to our clinic, where they receive best-in-class care.
GHESKIO’s maternal-infant unit receives about 1,500 new pregnant women annually who are followed after childbirth to ensure infants thrive. Nutritional supplements paired with educational counseling sessions on nutrition for mother and child ensure both receive optimal care during critical periods of development; deemed the first 1,000 days of the infant’s life.
Haiti has the highest reported incidence of cervical cancer of any country in the world – 50 times higher than the U.S. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Haitian women.
We’re making progress in cervical cancer prevention through the introduction of simple and cost-effective “screen and treat” strategies and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.
HIV care to protect young girls
Since 2004, HIV-related deaths for adolescents increased by 50%. Adolescents account for 40% of all new HIV infections in Haiti, and 80% of these occur among girls, many of whom live in poverty with little protection from high-risk behaviors.
While medical interventions can prolong lives, teens are a particularly challenging group to reach. HIV-infected adolescents are three times more likely to be lost to care than adults, with only about 50% of HIV-infected teens remaining in care at one year.
Our innovative model of care improves retention among HIV-positive adolescent girls. HIV care takes place in a community center rather than in a medical clinic to strengthen social support and decrease stigma, plus providers and teens meet to address social isolation, gender inequality and unstable families.
In 2010, Haiti was hit by the largest cholera epidemic in recent history, with more than 800,000 suspected cases and nearly 10,000 reported deaths. We sprang into action immediately with an emergency treatment center, community outreach, water treatment, vaccinations and a specialized hospital. Cholera cases and deaths plummeted, and Haiti was considered cholera-free by mid-2022.
Unfortunately, cholera re-emerged in late 2022. We once again responded quickly, immediately opening two cholera treatment centers. Our teams directly supported the hardest-hit communities, improving sanitation, delivering clean drinking water and providing cholera vaccinations.