The Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Center for Health, named for a late board member of the CMMB and the former auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, opened on Haiti's southeastern coast on Monday, providing health care to the area's population who previously would have had to travel for hours to the nearest hospital for care.
After a catastrophic 2010 earthquake shook the country, most of the aid response focused on the country's capital of Port-au-Prince, Kerrigan told CNA.
In the wake of the earthquake, there was "little attention was being paid to the Southern tier," which was just as devastated as the north but harder to get to, Kerrigan said. The local bishop had asked the Catholic Medical Mission Board to bring supplies and volunteers to the area, which they did.
Bishop Guire Poulard was eventually moved to the archdiocese of Port-au-Prince but he still insisted that a hospital should be built in the south.
With the help of a $2 million matching grant from Mercy Health, a Cincinnati-based Catholic health care system, construction began on the hospital in Côtes-de-Fer in 2013. It will serve 50,000 Haitians in the region.
Child and maternal mortality is a big problem in the region, Kerrigan said, and the hospital will be primarily addressing the health of women and children. According to recent UN estimates, Haitian women have "a one in 80 chance of dying due to pregnancy or child birth, compared to the region-wide risk of one in 510."