Roche-à-Bateaux is a town in the district of Côteaux with an area of 40.39 square miles (65 square kilometers) and 35 thousand inhabitants. It includes 3 counties namely: Beaulieu, Renodin, and Beauclos. The town of Roche-à-Bateaux is about 15.53 miles (24 kilometers) away from the town of Cayes which serves as the capitol or main town in the South department or South state. It is located in the South bay between the East side of the town of Port-Salut and the West side of the district of Côteaux.
Roche-à-Bateaux has many beautiful areas such as its beaches and coastal sceneries. Its riches unfortunately are still undeveloped. The main sources of income for its residents are farming which is evenly spread out between crops and livestock production, and its fisheries. The town offers other advantages as it is very accessible from other localities and has electricity. Indeed, there is an asphalt road that connects Roche-à-Bateaux to the town of Cayes and various other towns in the South coast of Haiti. On average, Roche-à-Bateaux provides 14 hours of electricity per day to its residents from its hybrid power grid which is composed of solar panels and powerful diesel motors. This grid was installed by the Coopérative des Côteaux and it also services Côteaux, Roche-à-Bateaux, and Port-à-Piment.
Roche-à-Bateaux has been facing multiple challenges. It has a high level of unemployment where many people with degrees or technical certification cannot find jobs. The town also lacks many tools or machines specially those used in the healthcare system. It only has one healthcare center which is the smallest unit in the whole Haitian healthcare system. In fact, the town has still not yet recovered from the damages of hurricane Matthew in 2016 especially from a farming and housing perspective.
With only one healthcare center in a town of 35 thousand residents, Roche-à-Bateau is suffering from a lack of medical facilities. The worst part is that the current facility was severely damaged by hurricane Matthew. This center can only see about 30 patients per day. This number may seem normal for a healthcare center but it is nonetheless insufficient for the medical needs of a town such as Roche-à-Bateau. The medical personnel are also under staffed. There is no particular doctor or nurse assigned to the center. Most of the medical care is provided free of charge by unlicensed individuals with a medical knowledge acquired by routine. Some health standards require a doctor per 10 thousand residents, a nurse per 3 thousand, a pharmacist per 10 thousand, and a healthcare center per 10 thousand inhabitants.
The town also has limited abilities to conduct laboratory tests. For instance, if any kind of X-ray or blood work is needed, the patient must travel to another town. The same goes if specialized care is necessary in domains such as urology, cardiology, pulmonology, and many others. Such patient will have to travel to a better equipped medical facility as far as the Cayes general hospital. With these limitations, it has become quite urgent to have a health center in Roche-à-Bateau that can adequately provide for the medical needs of the population. FDSH has been on the ground for more than a decade addressing these challenges in a way that enhances the quality of life for the residents of the South department especially for those in the South bay.
FDSH had initiated a project for the construction of a general hospital in Roche-à-Bateau and had acquired a piece of land with an area of xxx square meters for the housing of such hospital. The land is located outside of the city limit by the town of Rosier and is in close proximity to the main highway servicing the area. The scope of work has already been done and the project was ready to be executed. However, due to financial constraints, FDSH has temporarily looked into the construction of a smaller healthcare center with a capacity of seeing 100 patients a day. This will provide much needed medical assistance to the residents including X-rays and blood work.
This is about the construction of a healthcare center. This will be located at close proximity to the population and will provide primary medical assistance to the residents. For instance, individuals with the flu, high fevers, diarrhea, infections of which first symptoms are not life threatening or don’t appear to require advanced medical care will be treated in this facility. Additionally, patients with an epidemic disease such as malaria, conjunctivitis, or cholera will also be treated at this center. The services will include general medicine care, X-rays, lab work, first aid, and nursing care. The services will be rendered free of charge. Healthcare centers are quite indispensable in Haiti mainly due to the social and geographic inequalities in having access to medical care.
Our goals for the healthcare facility have been formulated with the aforementioned benefits at its core. The center will include:
- Family waiting room.
- Greeting room
- Medical archive room.
- Patient room.
- Nursing room for men.
- Nursing room for women.
- X-ray room.
- Blood work or laboratory room.
- Sterilization room.
- Storage room.
- Women’s restroom with lockers.
- Men’s restroom with lockers.
- 2 bedrooms to house unpaid or visiting doctors from elsewhere.
- Multi-purpose room.
- Technical room.
- Housekeeping room.
As we’ve highlighted, this project represents the stepping stone towards the bigger goal of a general hospital. FDSH hopes to be able to start implementing both short and long term goals of this endeavor by the construction of the healthcare center. Such construction will not be destroyed when the financial resources for building the general hospital are ready. Indeed, the healthcare center portion will serve as the emergency room area of the general hospital. The tasks therefore in the future will be to integrate the healthcare facility as the emergency room of the general hospital by collapsing specific border walls without affecting the integral structure of the health center.
It is known that building a healthcare center follows the same construction standards as building a hospital. As such, it is absolutely necessary that certain geotechnical studies be looked into on the land allocated for the facility. The various building blocks or materials will then be chosen based on the outcome of such geotechnical investigation. In fact, the overall structure or design of the healthcare center can be readjusted to reflect certain building codes that may be required based on the composition of the land.
Increase healthcare access as well as enhance the quality of healthcare services to the inhabitants of Roche-à-Bateaux.
- Provide Roche-à-Bateaux with a healthcare center at close proximity to the general population. This facility will offer adequate medical services and primary care to the residents.
- Build a durable healthcare facility that is both earthquake and hurricane resistant.