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Haiti’s first lady arrives in Florida to be treated for gunshot wounds after husband’s assassination

First lady of Haiti, Martine Moïse. (Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development/TNS)

First lady Martine Moise of Haiti was airlifted to South Florida to be treated for gunshot wounds Wednesday afternoon, hours after her husband, President Jovenel Moise, was assassinated in an early-morning attack in their home.

Martine Moise arrived in Miami in the late afternoon and was taken to Jackson Health System’s Ryder Trauma Center.

There was no immediate information about her condition.

Her tenure as first lady began in 2017, but throughout her life she has displayed a sense of responsibility for others, including being an advocate for women and girls, according to Spouses of Caricom Leaders Action Network, or SCLAN.

Moise, 47, was born in Port-au-Prince, where she attended high school at the College of Roger Anglade in 1994 and earned a degree in Interpretation Studies at Quisqueya University in her hometown in 1997, according to SCLAN.

Martine and Jovelen Moise were childhood sweethearts and married in 1996. They have three children, Jomarlie, Joverlein and Jovenenel.

The experience she gained in the years leading up to her becoming first lady were important to the work she did while in that position.

She worked for her family business in the North-West Department, dealing with the realities of social and economic conditions of the country, according to SCLAN.

In 2017, when her husband became the 58th president of Haiti, Moise went to work adopting the slogan “All for the children,” according to SCLAN.

Moise has said she believes that in order for Haiti to be able to achieve other political goals, children must be a priority, according to SCLAN.

She worked alongside the National Office of Identification and established a program that made birth certificate registration available at many maternity and birth centers across Haiti.

She was also a supporter of women’s and girls’ rights, working on issues of gender equality, early pregnancy, human trafficking and the transmission of HIV from mother to child during breast feeding, according to SCLAN.

As president of the Global Fund in Haiti since October of 2017, she also focused her efforts on relief from the epidemics it was facing, including HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

She and her husband made the elimination of malaria in Haiti a priority and also worked with the Global Fund and other partners to allocate resources to eliminate malaria in the Dominican Republic.

“As the mother of three children, it is important for me to fight to ensure that mothers everywhere have the resources to prevent this disease, including access to bed nets, diagnosis and treatment for their children,” she wrote in 2019.

She was also president of Fondasyon Klere Ayiti, a foundation that worked toward community development, women’s empowerment and civic education, according to SCLAN. She has also been involved in modernizing Haitian Arts & Crafts, an important component of the national economy.


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