SMART Hospital Initiative: Inauguration of a new ambulatory emergency room at the Hôpital Universitaire de la Paix

SMART Hospital Initiative: Inauguration of a new ambulatory emergency room at the Hôpital Universitaire de la Paix

The inauguration of a new modernized and fully functional ambulatory emergency room at the Hôpital Universitaire de la Paix (HUP) took place this Thursday, December 15, 2022, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Dr Ariel Henry, the Minister of Health, Dr. Alex Larsen, the Director of the Department of Health Emergencies of PAHO, Dr. Ciro Ugarte and the Representative of PAHO/WHO in Haiti, Dr. Maureen Birmingham.

The building, part of PAHO/WHO's SMART Hospital initiative was conceptualized in 2019 to address the Ministry of Health and Population's (MSPP) need for a more resilient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly health care infrastructure to provide timely post-disaster care and reduce disaster losses in the future.

“This new facility will help us bring emergency services as close as possible to the population" explained Dr. Alex Larsen, Haiti’s Minister of Health in his inauguration remarks.

The new ambulatory emergency room was designed to withstand the natural hazards common in Haiti, including hurricanes and earthquakes. Non-structural, mechanical and electrical services are designed to meet international safety standards. The complex is equipped with solar power and rainwater storage capabilities to maintain operations in the event of a national shortage or blackout.

"PAHO’s support to the Ministry will continue. Beyond our technical assistance to the realization of this structure, we will accompany staff capacity building activities and assist its day-to-day operation with the procurement of medical product and equipment.” said Dr. Ciro Ugarte, director of PAHO's Department of Health Emergencies. “We are dedicated to ensure this service can save lives."

The 13-bed inpatient facility is equipped with all the medical equipment necessary to provide emergency care services, including a mobile X-ray machine, sterilizers, bedside cardiac monitors, as well as a laboratory, pharmacy, sterilization, sutures and casts rooms.

"It is important to mention the challenge that the realization of this project represented. Despite a country-wide blockade COVID 19, socio-political crises, despite the insecurity, the lack of fuel, despite cholera, this project was able to see the day.” declared Dr. Maureen Birmingham, PAHO/WHO representative in Haiti «I want to pay tribute to the will and persistence of the authorities and the generosity of our partners" said.

Built with the financial support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of the United States of America, as well as an equipment contribution from UNOPS, HUP's ambulatory emergency room is the first project of its kind in Haiti. PAHO/WHO's SMART Hospital initiative has already been successfully implemented in the Caribbean region, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Guyana and Belize.