SOURCE: IMA World Health

February 11, 2010 10:01 ET

IMA World Health to Construct Haiti Health Care Resources Database to Facilitate Phase II Recovery

Former IMA President Leads Assessment Team in Haiti

NEW WINDSOR, MD--(Marketwire - February 11, 2010) -  IMA World Health, a specialist in providing essential healthcare services and medical supplies to people in need around the world, today announced a two-person Assessment Team has been sent to Haiti to construct a Haiti Health Care Resources Database to guide IMA's Phase II Recovery efforts. Leading the IMA Assessment Team is Paul Derstine, retired president of IMA. He is joined by IMA's Country Representative for Haiti, Dr. Abdel Direny, who has headed IMA's office in Port au Prince since 2007.

Derstine lived in Haiti for over ten years, and has provided technical support on Haiti for various development organizations, including IMA, for the past twenty-five years. He is serving as Senior Advisor to IMA president and CEO Rick Santos on the Haiti relief and reconstruction situation. "Paul has a deep love for Haiti and its people, and knows the country and the language," said Santos. "He knows and is known by the Ministry of Health, IMA staff, partners and fellow agencies, hospitals and clinics, and community leaders. It is rare to have someone of Paul's stature, knowledge and qualifications available to oversee work such as this."

Direny has developed partnerships at all levels of Haitian society and with international agencies, and will work with Derstine in developing comprehensive plans to address the Haitian health care crisis stemming from the earthquake.

The IMA Assessment Team is traveling throughout Haiti to develop a full analysis of the health care situation, the status of the nation's health care infrastructure and IMA linkages, and potential opportunities to accelerate impact of IMA's ongoing relief efforts. These efforts include the provision of additional medicines and medical supplies.

The key product of the assessment will be the construction of a Haiti Health Care Resources Database, including those available and those needed. IMA will use the Resources Database to develop an effective Phase II Recovery response. This response will center on the organization's core strengths and capacities in Haiti. IMA has a working health delivery presence in eight of Haiti's ten geographical Departments. This is a result of its lead role in the Haiti Ministry of Health's National Program for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, a vaccination and care initiative to eradicate a deadly and debilitating Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). This program, which has vaccinated more than 3.5 million Haitians, is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through RTI International.

Given IMA's familiarity with Haiti, the organization has been asked by partner agencies and others to provide leadership to determine health needs outside Port-au-Prince proper. IMA's Assessment Team is working with the Ministry of Health at all levels to determine the needs in communities for additional services such as provision of primary health care services. This will include communities either directly impacted by the earthquake or now facing a large influx of internally displaced persons. It is expected that health care needs will increase in many communities as a major exodus of people continues out of Port-au-Prince.

IMA's Assessment Team is also working with the Association of Christian Healthcare Institutions (AICSH), with which it has had a long partnership. The focus is on how IMA, its Member Agencies and other partners can help increase AICSH's capacity to coordinate primary health care services among its 30 member institutions throughout Haiti.

"IMA's Assessment Team is looking for opportunities to develop effective Haitian-led capacities in community and local healthcare institutions," added Santos. "A significant outcome of the capacity-building process, as it has been in other countries in which IMA works, will be a strengthened sense of community in the areas in which IMA and our partners work. The goal must be a sustainable, effective and community-based Haitian health care system."

About IMA World Health
IMA World Health is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps provide essential healthcare services and medical supplies to people in need around the world. IMA operates primarily in developing nations to restore health, hope and dignity to those most in need. For more information, visit us at or call 877-241-7952.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Douglas Bright
    IMA World Health
    (410) 635-8746
    Email Contact