According to the United Nations Population Fund, “1 in 44 women di[e] in pregnancy or childbirth,” making Haiti “the most dangerous place to give birth in the Western Hemisphere. In March 2009, St. Luc opened Klinik Manitane in order to provide high-quality prenatal care to expectant mothers in Haiti.
Initially run out of St. Damien’s Pediatric Hospital, the current 8-room Klinik was purchased on July 2009, and contains 2 consultation rooms, an ultrasound, a laboratory, and a large waiting area. The hospital is a 5 minute drive from St. Damien’s, and all severe pre-natal complications are seen by the gynecologists of St. Damien’s.
Over the last year and a half, Manitane has increased its operating schedule from 2 days a week to 5, and has steadily increased its patient load from 400 a month after a year to over 1000 for August 2010, Laboratory capacity has increased to include basic prenatal tests, and regular ultrasound tests are administered by rotating teams of visiting doctors from Italy. Additionally, patients are seen weekly for non-prenatal issues including hypertensive crisis, hyperglycemia, dehydration, malaria, and sickle cell.
As Manitane approaches it’s second-year mark, the Klinik will continue increasing in capability and capacity. The Klinik is expected to reach Degree 1 Motherhood certification, which would permit single, midwife-performed births. A referral system with St. Luc’s outreach programs in the slum of Wharf Jeremie is being established and Manitane plans to expand treatment for female-specific diseases such as cervical, breast and uterine cancers, as well as other gynecological conditions.