Joint effort leads to rehab clinic in Haitian capital

Jewish and Israeli organizations open prosthetic workshop to help victims of earthquake.

Haiti Clinic 311 (photo credit: Courtesy of Lee Celano/Getty Images for JDC)
Haiti Clinic 311
(photo credit: Courtesy of Lee Celano/Getty Images for JDC)
NEW YORK – A newly renovated rehabilitation clinic and prosthetic workshop was opened last week in Port-Au- Prince by Jewish and Israeli organizations to help the victims of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake.
The facilities, developed by the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Magen David Adom, Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, the Haitian Red Cross and the Hopital De L’Universite D’Etat D’Haiti, are the first of their kind in the Caribbean country.
“The rehab center has helped hundreds of Haitians regain their mobility and independence,” Judy Amit, JDC global director of international development, told the Jerusalem Post. “Additionally, we have brought hope to many amputees and to their families, enabling them to continue their lives in a productive manner.”
The clinic is staffed by rotating teams of Israeli orthopedic doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Prosthesis experts work to train local Haitian physical therapists, as well as a doctor being trained as the center’s director. The prosthetic workshop, donated by German NGO LandsAid, is used by amputees who have their prosthetics produced on site.
At a dedication ceremony for the facility last Wednesday, dignitaries praised the Jewish and Israeli response to Haiti’s tribulations.
“The Jewish and Israeli response to the plight of the Haitian people has been outstanding and we are heartened by the outpouring of critical support and aid at this time,” said Haiti Minister of Public Health and Population Alex Larsen. “We are fortunate to have JDC – a steadfast partner in times of great disaster – stewarding this project, which is restoring health to many Haitians.”