Archive for the ‘Ralph’ Category

visit to the Orphanage of Notre Dame De La Medaille Miraculeuse

Posted: November 12, 2010 by ralphlouis32 in Ralph

Accompanied by another network support team member, I visited the Notre Dame de la Medaille Miraculeuse orphanage, which has been operating for four years.  We had the opportunity of taking a tour of the entire compound with the assistance of the orphanage Director Mrs. Claudette Leconte, and Laurence Desvignes who supports the Haitian-run service.  At this present moment the orphanage has 104 children to care for, from the new born baby to sixteen year olds.


The main discussion points and outcomes of our visit:

We discussed their need of supplies and promoted the use of the Citizen Action Team Relief Database.

They currently have volunteer Medical Doctor that provides input once a fortnight.  She reported it would be benificial to have more medical input.

They discovered through a test a couple of months ago that the water being used at the orphanage is not very clean, and with the rapid spread of Cholerea it has made them increasingly concerned about their water supply.  Hannah agreed to provide a water purification kit as a trial.

They also reported they would be more than happy to have volunteers to help provide activities for the children, if they are able to provide their own accomadation and transport.

It was nice to see how happy the children were:  They gave me the impression they felt at home, they all had good manners, they would all be playing with their age rank, not so much running around and only would speak french to you not creole.


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).

Haitian Ministries’ Clinic Visit

Posted: October 12, 2010 by ralphlouis32 in general, Ralph

Today we had the opportunity of visiting the Haitian Ministries’ clinic in Lassoudray. The organization also supports a clinic in nearby Labruyere, which is run by the same medical staff. The two nurses and administrator alternate between the locations, serving the Lassoudray community on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Labruyere community on Mondays and Fridays. On any particular day they transport essential equipment and supplies back and forth between the clinics.

Staff Photo

Consultation Room

This system appears to work well for both the staff and communities as the distance between the clinics is manageable for the staff and the residents do not have to travel such long distances if they need primary medical care services.

We arrived during a busy clinic session as 10 – 15 people awaited care. A big thank you to the staff for accommodating us in the midst of this and we hope to help them in the immediate future with much needed supplies and over time with continued collaboration and dialogue.

Team Does First Soap Pick Up

Posted: August 29, 2010 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Dr. Eugene, general, Ralph

Working with Network partner Clean the World ( on their program to bring in soap they have recycled to distribute to the poor in Haiti is one of our major projects for the Network Support Team.  Clean the World has a close partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, for which they will be recycling soap and who will bring it on their ships to Labadee. 

gate at RCCL complex at Labadee

Dr. Eugene and Ralph got the soap in 75 boxes from the people of RCCL, and packed it all into our Network vehicle.

Dr. Eugene hauling soap

...and Ralph, too!

rear seat full of boxes of soap

This shipment of soap is going to be distributed mostly (5000 bars) to a group working with the earthquake victims in Leogane, and some will go to a few of our Network partners; there will be a regular flow of these in the coming months and years so that we can provide soap to every clinic and organization according to their needs.

Rapid Cross Country Medication Distribution

Posted: August 29, 2010 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Dr. Eugene, Ralph

Les, Dr. Eugene and Ralph organizing the meds

Team discussing med needs with staff

The Network was notified last weekend that there were essential medications, many of them injectable, about to expire at the Port-au-Prince depot of our friends Grassroots United. We offered to have our Network Support Team distribute the meds to patients who can use them now, before they expire, in the local area hospitals. It happened that Les from Grassroots was flying to Cap, and Ralph helped direct him from the airport to his hotel. Dr. Eugene and Ralph then brought him in our Team’s new vehicle to Justinien Hospital, where they brought the meds to staff persons working in patient care areas to distribute them where they could be used.

Les and Dr. Eugene with Justinien staff

going through the meds at Justinien

Some of the meds were also brought to Haiti Hospital Appeal clinic and hospital and Hopital St. Francois de Sales.

at the pharmacy of Hoptial St. Francois de Sales

Les and clinic doctor at Haiti Hospital Appeal with Network car

On monday we visited the clinic at Nativity village that Food for the Poor bulit in Cap-Haitian. After sitting down talking to the doctor we learned that the clinic need meds. The pharmcy doesn’t even have more then 50 meds for the people, so when the people of the community come for a check up the doctor has to send them to go outside of the village to buy them.  But the the people don’t even have money to buy the meds.

Dr. Eugene consults with a patient