Improved Hygiene in and around Hopital Albert Schweitzer, Haiti (Project Completed)

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As part of a special Close the Gaps initiative to help prevent, limit, and stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, in 2020 the Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF) provided support to the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) to improve hygiene initiatives in Haiti’s Lower Artibonite Valley.

Designated a COVID-19 treatment site by the Haitian Ministry of Health, the hospitals’ Emergency Response Plan included initiatives within the hospital as well as outside of the hospital to stem the spread of the virus within the local catchment area.

Read more on the project outcomes Hôpital Albert Schweitzer.

Thank you and Happy New Year

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We’d like to thank all of our donors, volunteers and partners for your support and take the opportunity to wish all of you a happier, healthier and better New Year.

As with all year ends, this is a time for reflection for all of us. This time last year, none of us could have predicted how much our world would change. There is no doubt 2020 will be remembered for COVID-19. However, there have been many highlights for us at CMF to remember as well.

New Leadership

Towards the start of the year we welcomed Dusanka Pavlica to our team, first as Acting President and CEO before she took on the role permanently. Ms. Pavlica has been a senior executive in the International Development sector for over 12 years, before having worked in the private sector raising funds for a variety of charities for over a decade previously.

We also welcomed four new Directors. Yipeng Ge is a resident physician in Public Health and Preventive Medicine (including family medicine) in Ottawa. He is also an elected PARO (Professional Association of Residents of Ontario) General Council representative from Ottawa and sits on the CFPC SoR (College of Family Physicians of Canada Section of Residents) as an elected PGY1 representative and as Chair-Elect. Tom Magyarody is the principal of Magyarody Strategy and Governance Consulting and is currently a Director of Blue Pier Pension Administration Inc as well as a member of the Board of Governors for the Ontario Medical Foundation and Vice Commodore at the Etobicoke Yacht Club. Kevin O’Brien has a career that spans 40 years in international cooperation, community development and humanitarian aid, with both domestic and international civil society organizations. Wendy Zhang is in her third year of her medical degree at the University of Toronto. Wendy began her career in ALS research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute while also teaching high school academic and university level science and math. To learn more about these and all of our Directors, you can visit our website https://medicalfoundation.ca/en/.

Successes and milestones in 2020

We continued to act as a conduit to help our donors achieve their own personal, charitable and philanthropic goals, and together we granted more than $1,500,000 to support charitable programs and projects both in Canada and the developing world.

We are also proud to have launched our own COVID-19 response programming by forging new partnerships to help strengthen the prevention and control of infection in communities which may not have access to knowledge or resources without support. We are also proud to have launched our own COVID-19 response programming by forging new partnerships to help strengthen the prevention and control of infection in communities that may not have access to knowledge or resources without support. Partnerships included working with Soap for Hope to deliver personal hygiene products to vulnerable people and those living in remote communities may have trouble obtaining these products in BC. We are also working with 3D4MD Inc, a social enterprise whose mission is to provide regulatory-compliant, 3D printable healthcare supplies to remote communities. The proper use of face shields is an overlooked and neglected topic in COVID-19 prevention. Without safe, reusable personal protective equipment, frontline healthcare workers will be forced to continue to reuse sub-standard, untested face shields made of cheap, low-grade plastic with a limited lifespan. The Decontamination Kit for the 3D4MD 100% Reusable Face Shield uses an environmentally safe, non-toxic, rapid action (1 minute), single-agent cleaner and COVID-19 disinfectant authorized by Health Canada. The Canadian Medical Foundation has committed to support 3D4MD in obtaining regulatory standards certification testing by an accredited, independent laboratory to demonstrate that the 3D4MD 100% Reusable Face Shield can be properly cleaned and disinfected with the 3D4MD Face Shield Decontamination Kit in accordance with Health Canada regulatory standards.

Globally healthcare workers have emerged as a vulnerable population group during COVID-19. To support healthcare workers in Haiti as they try to manage the spread of COVID-19 in their hospitals, CMF is partnering with friends of the Hopital Albert Schweitzer and with Partners in Health to reduce at least some of the risks that healthcare workers face at work on a daily basis in Haiti. Through our grant, the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, the only 24/7 full-service hospital serving more than 350,000 people in the Lower Artibonite Valley was able to manufacture additional surface disinfectant, which is 2.5 times more effective at sanitizing/inactivating pathogens than chlorine/bleach, and supply it to other hospitals and health centers. And with our partnership with Partners in Health Canada, we are able to support the University Hospital of Mirebalais, one of the main COVID-19 treatment centers and referral hospitals in the country and the largest teaching hospital in Haiti, through the construction of up to 15 permanent handwashing stations and 15 toilets in areas where
COVID-19 patients are treated.

Looking forward: 2021 and beyond

There is much more to come next year as we continue to work with our donors and partners, and serve the healthcare community.

Thank you all and we look forward to the great things we can continue to accomplish together.