The University of Notre Dame Haiti Program’s (UNDHP) clinic partner in Leogane, Haiti, the International Lymphedema and Wound Training Institute Medical Missions Inc. (ILWTI MM), is pleased to announce that Notre Dame alumnus Dr. John Macdonald and Dr. Heather Hettrick of Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty met with the Mayor of North Miami, Dr. Smith Joseph, on April 2, 2015.
Preliminary testing of more than 850 schoolchildren in the Haitian town of Saut-d’Eau has shown only one child to be infected with the parasite that causes lymphatic filariasis (LF), a milestone in efforts to eradicate the debilitating disease from the island. The results, involving children from 38 schools in the community of 35,000 people 50 miles north of Port-au-Prince, mean that the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program likely will achieve its goal of eliminating LF, also known as elephantiasis, from Haiti by 2020.
Rev. Thomas Streit, C.S.C., founder and principal investigator for the Notre Dame Haiti Program and professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, recently published his reflections on the five-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that occurred on Jan. 12, 2010. The reflection piece, “5 years on, hope for Haiti” was published on CNN.com on Monday, Jan. 12.
The University of Notre Dame Haiti Program (NDHP), in partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and the Population (MSPP) and the Congregation of Holy Cross, dedicated a new salt processing plant in Delmas, Haiti on Dec. 8. The Delmas facility is located in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.
The dedication ceremony attracted about 100 attendees, who traveled from across Haiti and the United States to attend the special occasion. Several administrators from the Notre Dame Haiti Program, Cargill Salt, and other partners of the NDHP Salt Project were present at the dedication. There was also a strong media presence at the event. Madame Sophia Martelly, first lady of Haiti, also participated in the ribbon cutting.
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The University of Notre Dame Haiti Program took an important “next step” in the expansion of its clinical services and morbidity management initiatives with the opening of a vocational training center in Leogane, Haiti in early September. An initiative to further lymphatic filariasis (LF) patient empowerment, as a part of the "Mental Health Initiative," the center was dedicated in a ceremony attended by some 50 individuals on September 10, 2014.
For a only the second time, the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program was honored to host its international partners for their bi-annual meeting on the elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), more commonly known as elephantiasis. The meeting, held on July 24 and 25 in the Jordan Hall of Science, offered a platform for some 20 participants, representing a host of organizations, to update progress made in past six months, discuss mutual challenges, and plan for common strategic efforts to achieve the goal of elimination of this dreaded and disfiguring disease in Haiti by the year 2020. The only other time the group has travelled to Notre Dame was in 2009.
Four and half years after the devastating earthquake in Haiti destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education has helped the Congregation of Holy Cross rebuild its schools in its effort to renew education in the Caribbean country.
The attention and concern of the world was focused on Haiti following its Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. As is often the case, as time went on, the focus on Haiti became less intense as the world moved on.
However, the plight of Haitians has remained a driving concern for a group of University of Notre Dame engineering professors and students who are working to bring about a novel housing solution in that country.
The Notre Dame Haiti Program at the University of Notre Dame has received a large, anonymous grant that will support the growth of its salt program, which produces clean, co-fortified salt, intended to eliminate lymphatic filariasis and combat iodine deficiency disorder. The $375,000 grant will be matched by other donations and, in conjunction with several other resources, will fund the largest growth in the history of the salt program.
The University of Notre Dame Haiti Program will complete the final mass drug administration (MDA) for this year in Arcahaie, Haiti, from Thursday-Sunday (June 19-22). The program, which aims to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, a mosquito-borne endemic disease, from Haiti by the year 2020, has successfully completed MDA this year in Léogâne, Port-au-Prince and 19 other communes in the Caribbean country.
Recently, the program completed MDA in the Carrefour commune, located at western end of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. More than 1,000 students at JUVENAT School, a private school in the region, were among those who received a combination of two drugs designed to treat the parasitic worm that causes lymphatic filariasis.
The University of Notre Dame Haiti Program has established a partnership with Carribex S.A., one of the largest food corporations in Haiti, to distribute the program’s Bon Sel Dayiti, co-fortified salt that will reduce preventable disease in Haiti. With Carribex’s nationwide distribution network, the salt is now available to most of Haiti’s 10 million people.
After donating salt to the program two years ago, Cargill is now offering its technical and operations expertise in salt production. Cargill has committed $150,000 over the next three years to the Notre Dame Haiti Program to help establish a sustainable salt-fortification venture in Haiti. The salt is fortified with potassium iodate and diethylcarbamazine citrate and is designed to stop LF, while also preventing iodine deficiency disorder.
The University of Notre Dame Haiti Program will spend less money to light and power its operations thanks to the addition of 16 solar panels, the work of a non-for-profit foundation led by two 1985 Notre Dame graduates.
The Let’s Share the Sun Foundation, based in Troy, N.Y., completed the second phase of a solar installation at the Residence Filariose in Leogane, Haiti, where four panels were installed earlier this year. The solar panels are now generating enough power to shut the diesel generator off during the day. The Residence Filariose serves as a training facility for the local community and guesthouse for visiting researchers focused on eradicating lymphatic filariasis.
Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services, has donated $20,000 toward the purchase of raw salt to assist in the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program effort to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in that country.
LF, which commonly is called elephantiasis, is one of the leading causes of disability in the world and it affects roughly one-third of the population in Haiti. However, the debilitating disease can be eliminated by using table salt. Cargill’s donation will assist a community development model that includes table salt as an integral component.
“I feel like I have my second life,” said Rev. Thomas Streit C.S.C., founder of the University of Notre Dame’s Haiti Program.
Father Streit was at a meeting in Port-au-Prince’s Hotel Montana with Notre Dame colleagues Sarah Craig and Logan Anderson and post-doctoral student Marie Denise Milord during the Jan. 12 earthquake, which collapsed their hotel. All four were standing on open hotel balconies and rode the building down as it pancaked to the ground. They sustained only minor cuts and bruises.
“The building around us came down and we were all thrown to the ground and we held on to literally nothing because we were on a tile floor,” explained Craig, manager of the Haiti Program. “The building below us just collapsed and we could feel it going down each floor until we ended up somewhere between the first and second floors with the rubble beneath us.”
Gregory Crawford, dean of the University of Notre Dame’s College of Science, and Rev. Thomas Streit, C.S.C., founder of the University’s Haiti Program, met with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Carter on Thursday (0ct. 8) in the offices of the minister of health for Haiti.
The meeting came in conjunction with the former president’s visit to Haiti and the Dominican Republic to urge political leaders in both countries to work together to rid Hispaniola, the island they both share, of both malaria and lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis or LF).
A group of University of Notre Dame graphic design students who used Adobe software in their collaboration with the University's Haiti Program, is currently featured in an article in the education section of Adobe’s main Web site.
The principal goal of Notre Dames Haiti Program is to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) from the impoverished Caribbean nation. LF, which causes the grotesque swelling of body parts known as elephantiasis, can be treated by adding nutrients to salt, a key ingredient in the Haitian diet. However, the salt is often discolored as a result of the primitive conditions in which it is harvested, so Haitians often wash their salt before using it, which washes away the nutrients and renders it useless for combating the disease.
GE Healthcare, a division of General Electric Company, has donated three portable ultrasound systems to the University of Notre Dames Haiti Program and its partner hospital, Hôpital Sainte Croix, to help detect patients who have Lymphatic Filariasis (LF).
LF, better known as elephantiasis, damages the lymph system causing grotesque disfiguration affecting limbs, breasts, genitals and the urinary system. An estimated 28 percent of the Haitian population in hyperendemic areas suffers from this painful, disabling and isolating disease.
A symposium titled First Steps: Eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis inHaitiwill be held Monday (March 21) at McKenna Hall at the University of Notre Dame. The event is free and open to the public.
Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) causes the grotesque swelling of the body known as elephantiasis, a disease in which progressive lymphatic dysfunction leads to the hideous swelling of legs, arms, breasts, or genitals. LF is aggravated by dangerous skin infections whose heat can become so intense it causes second-degree burns. Notre Dames Haiti Program, led by biologist Rev. Thomas Streit, C.S.C., has as its goal the elimination of LF fromHaitiby 2012. As many as 2 million ofHaitis 8.3 million people are believed infected with the mosquito-borne parasites that cause LF.