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7903: BRA secures close to $1 million in medical aid for Dominican's bateys. (fwd)

From: bateyrelief@mindspring.com
                                    PRESS RELEASE

CONTACT:  Ulrick Gaillard, Executive Director
                       Bateyrelief@mindspring.com or (917) 627-5026


The Batey Relief Alliance [BRA] and the Catholic Medical Mission Board
[CMMB] – both members of the Global Health Council – partner to help improve
health conditions in the Dominican Republic. The BRA, in collaboration with
the CMMB, is dispatching a highly qualified and dedicated team of volunteer
health experts from the United States, Canada, the Dominican Republic and
Haiti to bring desperately needed medical assistance to the indigent
population, including those identified as Haitian migrant workers and their
families, languishing in labor enclaves known as “bateys.” BRA’s 9th medical
mission, which begins June 8th through June 17th, 2001, will focus its
operation in the Monte Plata province where thousands of impoverished
Haitian and Dominican families remain in dire need of basic medical care.
“Patients will receive educational support in health crisis prevention and
management in HIV/AIDS, hypertension, diabetes, glaucoma, malaria and
tuberculosis – vital care in pediatrics, general medicines, optometry and
dentistry – and a six-month free supply of medicines, vitamins, eye care and
preventive health products to complete their short-term treatment,”
explained Dr. Raymond Thertulien, BRA’s Medical Director.

The CMMB is contributing more than $775,000.00 in medicines and medical
supplies towards the BRA’s sponsored medical relief operation. “The CMMB is
a giant humanitarian aid organization providing relief support to millions
around the world afflicted by natural disasters, including the earthquakes
in India, Turkey and El Salvador; hurricanes Georges and Mitch in the
Caribbean; and other calamities. We are proud of our new collaborative
effort – a commitment dedicated to equal access in health care for all in
need,” said Ulrick Gaillard, BRA’s Executive Director. Other collaboration
and contributions are expected from the Dominican’s State Sugar Council
(CEA) and the Department of Health (SESPAS), the Haitian Embassy in Santo
Domingo, the Peace Corps, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bayer Corporation, Alcon
Laboratories, etc.

Last February 28th, 2001, BRA held its first International Conference at the
United Nations exposing the miserable conditions under which more than
500,000 Haitians live and work in the bateys – and the discriminatory/racial
assaults they continue to face. On the legal front, their Dominican born
children are not granted the country’s citizenship – and thus have no right
to access the public health care system.  Their parents are continuously
being repatriated without hope for a future in Haiti.  Others are being
killed under questionable circumstances as they continue to cross the
Haitian/Dominican border in search of opportunities.  “The situation in most
bateys is so severe that inhabitants continually face serious health
problems.  The habitat is made typically of rundown state-built quarters
or/and tiny shacks made of mud and split cane.  There are no electricity,
sewage systems, sanitation facilities, running water, or trash collections.
BRA, in response, is actively involved in saving thousands of lives each
year by not only providing direct medical care, but also by donating
medicine supplies and products to various Dominican-based partner
organizations serving the batey populations’ health needs.  In doing so, BRA
expands its humanitarian efforts all across the Dominican Republic while
ensures that all donated vital drugs are used in the interest of promoting
global health care,” added Gaillard. Please visit BRA’s website at

Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) www.bateyrelief.org
Tax-exempt, non-profit, non-political humanitarian aid organization.
For donations and information, please contact:
Ulrick Gaillard, J.D., Executive Director
P.O. Box 300565, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230
(917) 627-5026 or at bateyrelief@mindspring.com.
Maria Virtudes Berroa, Regional Director
Apartado Postal 5085, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dom.
(809) 383-1547 or at bra.dominicana@mindspring.com
A copy of BRA's latest annual report may be obtained, upon request,
from the organization or from the Office of the Attorney General, Charities
Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10271