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Navigating Challenges, Saving Lives: A Look Back at Haiti Air Ambulance's Impactful 2023 | Haiti Non-Profit Organization

Navigating Challenges, Saving Lives: A Look Back at Haiti Air Ambulance’s Impactful 2023

December 29, 2023

As we stand at the threshold of a new year, reflecting on our organization’s accomplishments over the past year brings a surge of gratitude and pride. This year has been a testament to our unwavering commitment to advancing healthcare in Haiti, showcasing the incredible impact we’ve made in the lives of those we serve.

Join us as we recap some of the impactful moments that defined Haiti Air Ambulance’s remarkable year.

February 2023: HAA Acquires Second Helicopter

In February 2023, we took a substantial step to enhance our emergency medical services by doubling our fleet. This involved the acquisition of a used Bell Helicopter 407. This strategic expansion aligns with our commitment to advancing healthcare in Haiti, enabling better accessibility to even the most remote areas of Haiti.

As David Ellis, our Executive Director, stated, “Right now, Haiti is facing a period of constant life-and-death challenges politically and economically. And yet the people of Haiti constantly inspire us to do more, be more, and give as much as we can. With a second helicopter in the air, we’ll eventually be able to operate two ships every day. Of course, this will take more resources to fund additional staff. But we’re confident that our friends, supporters, and donors will help us make it happen.”  

June 2023: An Earthquake Strikes Haiti

June 6, 2023, brought a seismic challenge—literally. A powerful earthquake struck, compounding the devastation caused by severe flooding from a recent tropical storm. The aftermath revealed a grim toll—51 confirmed deaths, 18 missing, 140 wounded, and 825 houses seriously damaged. In the face of this crisis, HAA swiftly responded. Our team provided general trauma rescue in Jeremie, a city severely affected by the quake.

One notable case involved triaging a middle-aged man on-site for a broken hip and head fracture. The patient was transported to Hopital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince—a journey that would typically take 20 minutes but, due to the coastal differences between Jeremie and Port-au-Prince, took a full hour.

July 2023: Addressing the Resurgence of Cholera in Haiti

October 2022 marked the resurgence of cholera in Haiti, posing a severe public health crisis. By November 7, over 600 confirmed cases and more than 6,500 suspected cases had been reported in the greater Port-au-Prince area alone. This outbreak overwhelmed healthcare facilities, leaving remote communities in dire need of critical medical care.

HAA responded by launching an urgent appeal for donations to distribute life-saving treatments to cholera patients throughout 2023. The immediacy of providing IV fluids to combat dehydration, coupled with the timely administration of antibiotics, became paramount. Our team worked throughout 2023 to bridge the gap between critical medical care and cholera patients in remote areas.

June 2023: BLS Training Program Expansion

Recognizing the critical need for community resilience, HAA made an effort to expand its Basic Life Support (BLS) training course this year. This initiative aims to equip local Haitians with life-saving skills, fostering a network of community responders capable of responding decisively to emergencies. The program covers a spectrum of essential skills, including CPR for all age groups, the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), effective ventilations, and dynamics of teamwork during multi-rescuer resuscitation scenarios.

As we continue this program, we are reminded that empowering individuals with the knowledge to respond to emergencies transforms them into real-life heroes. The course extends beyond professional boundaries, emphasizing that anyone, irrespective of their background, can make a difference in emergency situations.

November 2023: HAA Receives the 2023 Haiti Impact Award

A crescendo in our year of impact was the honor bestowed upon us at the inaugural HAS Global Awards on November 11th. Hosted by Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, New York, this event recognized organizations making significant contributions to Haiti’s healthcare sector. Haiti Air Ambulance was honored with the prestigious Haiti Impact Award.

Anderson Cooper, a notable figure in journalism, presented the award, acknowledging our commitment to advancing healthcare in Haiti’s challenging conditions. This recognition reaffirms our dedication to providing critical medical services, emergency response relief, and healthcare training to uplift the Haitian community.

Thank You for Supporting Haiti Air Ambulance This Year

As we look back on this year of challenges, triumphs, and transformative growth, our hearts swell with gratitude. None of our accomplishments would have been possible without the unwavering support of our global community of donors, partners, and well-wishers. Your belief in our mission has fueled our every flight, response, and initiative.

As the year draws to a close, we invite you to stand with us in reflection and anticipation. The journey continues, and every step is taken with the vision of a healthier, more resilient Haiti. To contribute to our mission and support the communities we serve, please consider donating today.