Archive for the ‘Interns’ blog’ Category

Team visit to Robillard

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Interns' blog

Yesterday we went to visit the clinic at Robillard. We met Gloria who was very kind and walked us around the clinic and village. There was a visiting team from the US working at the clinic.

We then had a meeting with Gloria, Dr Calil and Dr Eugene to discuss what their biggest needs are.

With regards to cholera, they saw 11 patients in the last two weeks. They have had no deaths at all.

Currently, they do not keep patients overnight, but they will have capacity to do so from next month. However, they need beds, I could see that they don’t have any.

MSF and Gloria and her US team help support the clinic with supplies. They have also helped to expand the lab which was completed last month.

The clinic receives around six hundred patients in total a month, including providing a maternity clinic and blood pressure clinic.

It was also very interesting to visit the school, rectory, water purification system and vocational school. The picture shows students of the vocational school learning how to tailor clothes. One of teachers showed us samples of the beautiful work.

The team has supplied the clinic with some general medications and cholera treatment supplies. We will also update their list of needs on the Citizen Action Team Database to help them receive the necessary equipment.




Posted: February 1, 2011 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Interns' blog

I went to Labadee today just to check with the clinic and the water purification system.

Firstly I spoke with Meme Rosette, one of the two nurses working at the clinic.
She said to me there’s one cuban Doctor there currently but she’ll be leaving on 25 or 27 of February. She also said volunteers are more than welcome to assist the Labadee clinic, because the clinic’s always full of people particularly now because they used to have two or three Cubans at a time.

With regards to the water purification system, I went to see the old building they used to use for communal access to treated water. It hasn’t worked for over three years, the equipment is old and damaged. The system that was in place treated the water through uv rays, but the glass has been smashed.

Vwa Aiyti distributed water filters last year to the three schools and some of the most needy families in Labadee.

I didn’t see the mayor of the village because his not in haiti right now.

Louissaint Maxime

Open Door Haiti Medical Shipment

Posted: October 28, 2010 by gregparker in general, Interns' blog

Yesterday the Network Support Team helped receive a shipment of medical supplies at the Cap Haitien airport. The supplies are bound for the Open Door clinic in Bois De Lance. The supply shipment came about through great coordination amongst a number of different groups. ALFA AERO and Bahamas Habitat worked together to arrange for the plane and pilot – a Texas man who donated his time and aircraft for the purpose. They took out all the seats to fit the 60+ boxes that were shipped down.

Upon arrival at the Cap Haitien airport we met the supplies and with some creative negotiating were able to clear them through customs. It is worth noting that custom’s officials at the airport are paying particularly close attention to the expiration date on all supplies coming into the country. They went through nearly every box checking expiration dates, even on toothpaste and soap. Keep this in mind when arranging any donations for shipping!

Network Team Returns to Cap

Posted: October 25, 2010 by gregparker in general, Interns' blog

Ralph and I returned this week to Cap Haitien after spending the week at the NHAHA conference in Port-Au-Prince. In addition to our activities at the conference, we spent part of Friday afternoon visiting one of SOIL’s composting toilet sites in Cite Soleil. Friday is the weekly dumping where they place nearly 600 gallons of dry feces into a composting site that will later be used to start a community garden. The Friday dump has turned into a community activity as many local kids are out on the cement soccer field playing and enjoying the visit from the SOIL staff. As part of the effort to combat the current cholera outbreak SOIL placed health promotion materials in each toilet.

On our drive back from Port-Au-Prince and over the mountains we got word from Network members that the Ministry of Health was placing a staging clinic at the top of the mountain on the drive between Gonaives and Limbe/Cap. The purpose was to assist anyone who might be trying to travel with cholera from the areas of St. Marc and Gonaive to the north. Government officials had gotten word of some folks who were attempting this as hospitals in the Artibonite were reaching or overcapacity.

We had the opportunity to go by the hospital in St. Marc on our drive back as well. Many reports had suggested that the condition was dire their. While the hospital appeared full and there was quite a bit of traffic in and out of the gate, we did not witness anything that looked like the situation was out of control. We say that keeping in mind that the loss of those people who have already died from the outbreak is tragic, but it appeared at the time that while the hospital was stressed it was managing.

NHAHA Thursday Notes

Posted: October 21, 2010 by gregparker in Interns' blog, Ralph

There have been many presenters today and a short summary and highlight of most is included below. Please feel free to email me at if you have questions about the presentations as I’d be happy to try to expand more on what the presenters said or try and grab them for a question.

Dr. Claude Surena (President of Haiti Medical Association): He spoke about the human resource issues within the Haitian healthcare system. Primarily the concerns are the incentives (financial and non-financial) provided to physicians and nurses. The system must do a better job of incenting its healthcare professionals to advance their work and stay in the country. He noted that it is a difficult problem as the Haitian budget for healthcare is very low. Much is done to try and train professionals but compensation for this training is not often in place. At the moment most healthcare professionals source additional work from NGO’s to supplement their incomes, but this is not always a sustainable solution.

Dr. Rosier Morales (MSPP): The doctor spoke about Haiti’s National Plan and its healthcare implications. The outline was very general but suggested that the country needed a decentralized system and that current priorities were to adapt to the needs post earthquake as well as establish a foundation from which to build capacity for the future.

Dr. Enrique Ginzburg (University of Miami Global Institute): The group has put forth a proposal for increases in Critical Care Centers in Haiti. These are trauma centers capable of handling burns, heart attacks, strokes, and maternal emergencies among other things. He suggested that to capitalize on the momentum of the earthquake 16 trauma centers be built throughout the country. The Bernard Mevs center would serve as a launching point that could train necessary professionals in an expedited fashion and in turn they would train more professionals. This exponential process would put healthcare workers through 6 months of training each and create capacity for 16 trauma centers. It is an aggressive plan for which much support and consensus building will be necessary before it becomes reality.

Dr. Diane Jean-Francois (Catholic Medical Mission Board):One of their primary projects has been increasing the health systems capacity to deal with amputees. Particularly they want to be able to provide them with prosthetics and have a coalition including Hangar Orthopedics and the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti (among others) that are part of the effort. They are also focused on education for amputees and training in the trade of making prostheses.

Pediatrics Breakout Session: This session focused on the reduction of infant and neonatal mortality rates as well as nutrition programs. AS one would expect the mortality statistics for infants and newborns are quite bad although it has steadily improved for infants but not so much for neonates. One of MSPP’s initiatives is to try and guarantee perinatal service access to all mothers and children. Many of the neonatal deaths are the results of conditions that can be effectively managed through proper perinatal care. Children’s Nutrition Program from Jacmel also spoke about their long existing child nutrition program. They use an integrated approach that includes acute malnutrition treatment, nutrition education (Positive Deviance Hearth Programs to educate mothers of moderately malnourished), and clean water programs. The programs are overseen buy Haitian trained “monitrices” who monitor the children through the Ready To Use Therapeutic Foods(RUTF) programs and PD Hearth Programs. The RUTF program for severely malnourished uses Medika Mamba from Meds and Foods For Kids.

Stay tuned for updates from tomorrow’s sessions and possibly video of a key speech or two!


Safely Arrived In Port-Au-Prince

Posted: October 21, 2010 by gregparker in Interns' blog, Ralph

After a two day journey Ralph and I safely arrived in Port-Au-Prince this evening and are staying with some other Network members at the Healing Hands Guesthouse. We will be attending the National Haitian American Health Alliance Conference here over the next three days and will provide summaries and updates on the blog as fast as we can.

Our drive from Cap Haitien was an interesting one as we encountered some fog coming over the mountains during yesterday’s leg to Gonaives. Ralph was very concerned that I not drive off the “cliffhangers” and he said that I proved my mettle as a driver by navigating them successfully. In Gonaives we were graciously hosted by Pastor Michele Morriset and had an opportunity to learn more about their mission and tour the hospital they have. We left them several boxes of medical supplies for which they were very thankful. I was fascinated to meet Dr. Clair who moved to Gonaives after finishing her medical school in France 25 years ago and has been working with Pastor Morriset’s mission ever since.

While we are here at the conference our colleagues are busy back in Cap Haitien as they have been spending time with Clean The World during their visit to the north. After we all met William Lowery and his team at the airport yesterday Juline and Brunel went with them to Labadee and learned more about the organization’s program and then spent some time this morning delivering soap with them in the Cap Haitien area. This was the soap that Ralph and I had traveled to Labadee to pick up last Saturday. We used some real creativity and some help from the Royal Caribbean staff to carry three pallets worth of goods back over the mountain to Cap Haitien in only two trips in the Team Vehicle (photos below).

On a more personal note, tonight was the first time I have had an internet connection robust enough for Skype so I was able to talk and see my parents (and dog) for the first time since arriving here which was exciting (mostly for my mom).

Shada Visit/Haiti Hospital Appeal

Posted: October 13, 2010 by gregparker in Interns' blog

Today Juline and Greg visited the Shada clinic with Ashley from SOIL. It was Greg’s first trip into the Shada neighborhood, which sits below the bridge in Cap. The neighborhood is one of the city’s poorest and sanitation is worse there than most places in the city. Today was a busy day for Dr. Jeanty, the clinics only clinician. With Dr. Jeanty and the clinic staff we discussed information about the clinic and using it as a site on Friday’s for a malaria research project we will conduct using Rapid Diagnostic Tests from the Science with A Mission organization. Greg will be in the clinic on Friday’s assisting Dr. Jeanty and running the malaria project and is very excited about helping out in the neighborhood. Today we also had the great pleasure of seeing Madame Bwa who has been delivering babies in the Shada area for 54 years. Nearly every person we passed spanning several generations had been birthed by her including Dr. Jeanty.

After we finished at the Shada clinic we went to visit Haiti Hospital Appeal’s children rehab center. The children here all have various physical or mental disabilities. They spend 1 – 3 days a week at the center and the remainder of the week with their families. The staff there works so patiently with the kids and provides various therapies to help with their mobility and functioning. They also school someof the children and work with their families on techniques to improve the quality of life for the children. Juline and Greg spent nearly 3 hours there playing with and helping to feed the children. It was a very hard place to leave as the children were so enjoyable to be around. (Juline was too embarassed to have picture of her dancing for the children posted.)

We then met with Phil, who is the Treasurer for the organization building and operating Haiti Hospital Appeal. He toured us around the campus which includes the 24/7 clinic and the spinal cord rehabilitation unit that housed many spinal cord injury victims from the earthquake. The spinal cord center has discharged a majority of these patients who have returned home after completing much of their therapy. Each discharge has been trained to sew and given a sewing machine to provide them with a potential job skill.

Phil showed us the new buildings under construction on the campus which include a surgery unit, maternity ward, neonatal ward (with 5 incubators), and pediatric ward. The facility is quite impressive and the enthusiasm of Phil and the other staff was evident.