SOURCE: Circle of Health International

Circle of Health International

January 26, 2010 09:20 ET

Circle of Health International Responds to Women's Health Needs in Haiti

Global Nonprofit Working to Limit Damages to Women's Health Status

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 26, 2010) - Circle of Health International (COHI), a global non-profit organization focusing on women's health, announced today that its second women's health team has arrived in response to the earthquake in Haiti. This team comprised of one certified nurse midwife, one MISP-certified physician, and an epidemiologist, has joined the four other COHI volunteers already working in and around Fonds Parisien, Haiti. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund has estimated that there are 63,000 pregnant women among the survivors of the earthquake, and has recognized COHI's expertise in preventing more maternal deaths in crisis situations. Before the earthquake, Haiti suffered from the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western hemisphere, with 607 women per 100,000 dying in childbirth.

The COHI team, comprised of midwives and other women's health providers and public health professionals, will conduct a Rapid Health Assessment to gather information about the most pressing women's health concerns, provide desperately needed clinical services, and liaise with other relief agencies and organizations on the ground to make sure that women's health needs are addressed as part of the overall relief effort. They will also lay the groundwork for future COHI teams to continue this important work on behalf of women. In addition, a second COHI team will be leaving shortly to aid efforts in Haiti. As the international community acts to bring relief to the disaster-torn island, COHI is using their expertise to include women's health needs as an integral part of the overall relief effort, doing their best to ensure that the devastating earthquake in Haiti does not have a similarly devastating effect on women's health in the region.

COHI understands that while securing food, water and shelter are essential to responding to crisis, women's health needs-often a matter of life and death-do not cease to exist in crisis and post-crisis situations. The dire condition of women's health in these communities is often further threatened in times of emergency. During times of such tragedy and unrest, rates of sexual assault and domestic violence escalate, further endangering the lives of women in such settings. COHI pledges to do everything in its power to prevent further worsening of women's health status and to ensure that vital women's health needs are met. The non-profit is collecting monetary and in-kind donations to support COHI volunteers in their effort to care for the women of Haiti. Donations to the Haiti relief project can be made by visiting COHI's website at

Circle of Health International is a global non-profit organization headquartered in Massachusetts and dedicated to improving the health of the world's women by building the capacity of women's health care providers in crisis regions of the world and conflict-affected women through the provision of comprehensive women's health services. COHI has worked in Sudan, Tibet, Tanzania, Israel/Palestine, post-tsunami Sri Lanka and post-Katrina Louisiana, and specializes in responding to the unmet health needs unique to women in disaster/conflict areas. COHI is pleased to offer their expertise in order to ensure that women's health care is part of the overall relief picture in Haiti, thereby limiting overall damage to women's health in Haiti. More information about COHI can be accessed online at

If you'd like more information about these efforts, or to schedule an interview with Leilani Johnson, Executive Director of Circle of Health International, please call 512-517-3220 or email

Contact Information

  • Leilani Johnson
    Executive Director of Circle of Health International
    Email Contact