Ounaminthe visit

Posted: January 10, 2014 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Uncategorized

Today, Covsky and I met Dr. John Nelson, Canadien metabolic specialist and Medical Director at Univers Medical Center in Ounaminthe. Got my first look inside very impressive facility that was still busy at 5 PM today.

The lab does several chemistry tests, including nbil (for neonatal jaundice), in addition to standard hematocrit centrifuges, manual cbc by microscope (QBC machine needs repair), antibody tests for malaria (and syphillis). They have a functioning, nicely equipped x-ray suite and dental treatment room. Very nicely stocked and organized pharmacy is pictured.

Dr. Nelson is pictured in their 24 hours Urgencie room. While it was empty during my visit, the clinic was still busy after 5 PM.

We also saw the progress at the Medical Center at Danita’s Children, also in Ounaminthe. It was beautiful to see it. Pictured is their modern looking pharmacy through smoky glass. They are seeking an x-ray machine for their dedicated x-ray room. They have a nice recreational therapy room for children with disabilities.

Thanks to Karris for the impromptu tour and great display of Spanish and Kreyol!


Introductory Meeting between AWH and FHWL

Posted: September 14, 2013 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Uncategorized

Ryan and Jordan from Advocates for World Health (AWH) recently welcomed For Haiti With Love’s Eva DeHart to their headquarters and warehouse in Tampa. Both had a chance to review their histories and missions and joined with Ted Kaplan (with Anna representing Haitian youth) to discuss many possible future collaborations.

Network Meet and Mingle meeting of March 6

Posted: April 6, 2013 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Uncategorized

In addition to a good turnout of new and old Network members, we had the treat of hosting professional photographer Wayne Chinnock at our informal “Meet and Mingle” meeting on March 6. Wayne worked with our partner Haiti Help Med in the south and with some other organizations in other parts of Haiti before coming up and spending the week with Hands Up for Haiti.

I have posted all the pictures to our Facebook group “Cap Haitien Health Network”, but have included a couple highlights here. As we usually do at these meetings, everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and their organization before breaking off to discuss things with each other.

There are many other images of Wayne’s experience in Haiti on his (Wayne E. Chinnock) and the Network’s Facebook pages

Visit to Perches

Posted: February 18, 2013 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Uncategorized

We made a brief stop in Perches on Feb. 8 after our clinic in Danda. We had Dr. Mesadieu, who does mobile clinics there, Dr. Eugene, Dr. Ally Joseph, Juline from the Network Support Team, Pastor Elima Etienne from Danda, and some of the visiting students from the nursing and surgical tech school from Lorain Community College in Ohio, with Joseph and Jean Brunel, interpreters, all in Dr. Eugene’s truck.

The Network recently connected with the Haitian Baptist Church of Orlando which it turned out has connections, through their pastor, in Perches. Pastor Antoine Fils-Aime is from there, and has directed his church to assist the village in a long term, broad way. They are building a new church, which will have a clinic. They bring a team with medical and other volunteers to the village at least once a year. Patrick Delice and Jean Leblanc are part of the HABCO Haiti mission leadership team that I met in Orlando.

I was surprise that Perches was a little larger, better organized, and nicer than expected for a village that does not show up on most maps. It is in the northeast department, not too far from Grand Bassin, which is a central larger village south of Terrier Rouge.

Dr. Mesadieu introduced us to the nurse in charge of the Dispensaire of Perches (currently the only healthcare there), named Paul Marie Lourdes. She is pictured with Dr. Mesadieu. Coincidentally, he and her husband also have a connection with Fort Bourgeois, way back near Cap Haitien, where Dr. Mesadieu has his ULS clinic. We also met the other nurse of the dispensaire.

The dispensaire has an exam room, a central main room, and a pharmacy with just a handful of meds on part of one shelf.

They have a separate semipermanent cholera tent, an education area, and a latrine.

They would welcome visiting volunteers and mobile clinic teams to help them.

On the way out, we stopped at the guest house that the HABCO members stay, and met the owner. It was a very nice house with nice grounds, and they were receiving visitors just coming in for Kanaval.

We look forward to working with Perches and HABCO as participants in the Network.

Lecture at Justinien

Posted: February 12, 2013 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Uncategorized

I was happy to be invited to speak on a pediatric topic at the conference room of Justinien Hospital on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The talk was organized by Patricia Sedlak, RN, professor at Lorain Community College in Ohio, and Yanick from the the North Haiti Nurses Association. Continuing Education Credits for nurses with American licenses were arranged, too. The pediatric residents and some other doctors from surgery and anesthesia also attended, as well as Pat’s visiting nursing and surgical tech students. The room was PACKED, at least 60 people, I would estimate.

The talk was entitled “Essential Physical Assessment in Pediatrics, or, Why a examination must be done for a sick child”. The power point presentation, with some pretty clear photos I was able to gather, is posted on the files section of the Network’s Yahoo group, if you are interested. The talk was very practical and clinical, emphasizing how the findings completely change your management, so if you haven’t examined for them, you can easily be doing the wrong management for your patient. I also was able to demonstrate ausculation, ear, and throat exams through the projector and demonstration. I also brought a digital camera integrated otoscope which didn’t work great but did show some of the picture of a normal ear to the audience.

I had some nursing students try to look in one of the visiting volunteers ears to demonstrate that technique. I think it is especially important to Haitian nurses who often practice along in village dispensaire’s. One of the first students scratched the volunteers ear with the ear speculum; after that I could show the next students what blood in the ear canal looked like (but I abandoned having them using the otoscope solo–I told them to practice on ear other).

A lively discussion followed the talk. We have the help of young surgeon , who turned out to be the best medical English-Creole interpreter in the room. I also had the great help of psychologist Dr. Joseph Saintus who interpreted the bulk of the presentation.

I haven’t done something like this for a while, and it was always with a much more dry research bend, so it was different, and pretty fun, and I think gave the audience something to think about, and something to practice!

(google translate of message below:

I share with you these photos taken during surgery for thoracoabdominal wound on a youth, pierced by an iron bar.
It has just been extracted without complication.

Despite various constraints, providers of HUJ perform amazing feats every day that deserve also be rented. Major efforts are currently being made ​​to change the face of HUJ and make it a public institution model.

Stay close to us and support these efforts. )


Je partage avec vous ces photos prises lors d’une intervention pour une plaie thoraco-abdominale, sur un jeune, transpercé par une barre de fer.

Il vient d’etre exéaté sans complication.

Malgre les contraintes diverses, les prestataires de l’HUJ réalisent chaque jour des exploits extraordinaires qui meritent aussi d’etre loués. De gros efforts sont en train d’etre faits pour changer le visage de l’HUJ et faire de lui un etablissement public modèle.

Restez proches de nous et soutenez ces efforts.

Dr Ernst-Robert Jasmin
Directeur DSN
Rue 18 Boulevard, Cap-Haitien, Haiti
Tel : 3721-1935

March 2012 Vasectomy Mission

Posted: December 7, 2012 by Cap Haitien Health Network in Uncategorized

2012 March

While NSVI would never have developed a program in Haiti were it not for the tireless efforts of Dr. Fritz Lolagne (Haiti’s undisputed leader in long-term methods of family planning), NSVI owes much of its success in North Haiti to Pastor Amos Myrtil whose charity work and good reputation in Plaisance/Pilate have made him a voice that people can trust. So we return to Plaisance for a 3rd time. Through Dr. Ted Kaplan of the Cap Haitien Health Network, we learned that Dr. Maudelin Mesadieu and his clinic staff in Ft. Bourgeois are strong supporters of family planning eager to introduce vasectomy to their service area. We also had a feeling that Limbe, the site of Amos’s alma mater and conveniently located between Cap Haitien and Plaisance, might be a good third site. We did not expect that we would be fortunate enough find another enthusiastic supporter (Dr. Emmanuel Mareus) running the health clinic in Limbe.

Logistics contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of a mission. Cap-Haitien is closer to Plaisance than is Port-Au-Prince and its airport receives non-stop flights from the very easy Ft. Lauderdale Airport (FLL). An overnight stay near FLL (Stein can fly from Tampa and Suarez can drive from Naples) to catch the 06:30 non-stop to CAP allows for an early arrival and a full day of vasectomies. But the airport runways are too short for jets and there is only one carrier (IBC Airways). The flights are infrequent (only 4 per week), expensive ($300-350), and often sold out months in advance. But for our work, it is still better than driving or flying to North Haiti from Port-Au-Prince.
Ft. Bourgeois is only minutes from CAP and Limbe is on the way to Plaisance. The map on the right is a blowup on the white rectangle in the left map.

Fort Bourgeois

The Health Center at Fort Bourgeois is on the main road, so the banner announcing our offer of free vasectomies (hung a week before our arrival) was easily seen (when the wind wasn’t blowing).

Men were waiting when we arrived and the Medical Director of the clinic, Dr. Mesadieu, explained vasectomy in detail with Drs. Suarez and Stein standing by to fill in details about recovery time, risks and benefits, sexual function, vasectomy reversal, etc.

The doorway behind Dr. M led to the procedure room, and the NSVI team set to work on the first patients as Dr. Mesadieu’s staff counseled later arrivals.

The procedure room had natural light, plenty of space, and two tables.

Dr. Lolagne showed Dr. Mesadieu the technique, but NSVI has learned that quick procedures in the hands of experienced vasectomists do more to enhance the local acceptance of vasectomy than prolonged procedures performed while training. NSVI feels more comfortable with “hands-on” training of local doctors when vasectomy becomes popular in a community.

Dr. Suarez shows Dr. Mesadieu his own style, while Dr. Lolagne chats with the patient.

Dr. Mesadieu is impressed that the patient feels nothing after no-needle anesthesia is administered.

Dr. Mesadieu and his staff pose with the NSVI Team after an afternoon of 11 vasectomies. Those 11 patients had fathered 83 children. How will they ever find jobs? If NSVI can return periodically to Ft. Bourgeois, that average number of offspring will hopefully decrease.

While Dr. Lolagne and Lisette spent the night with friends in Cap Haitien, Ramon, Doug, Amos, and Juline stayed at the guest house of Madame Bell in Voudreuil. Next morning we visited Limbe, first the Universite Chretienne du Nord D’Haiti (originally the Séminaire Baptiste du Limbé), Pastor Myrtil’s alma mater.


We were lucky enough to encounter an English Professor …

… who escorted us to the Health Center up the side road just beyond the university.

The medical staff had not yet arrived, but a caretaker showed us the clinic.

Nothing fancy …
… but plenty of well-lit space. Perhaps next time, as we were committed to work in Plaisance on this day.

Plaisance is in the highlands to the southwest.

Even in the countryside, one can be impressed with the crowds of people and the difficult living and transport conditions.


On arrival at the Plaisance school which worked well as a vasectomy site during our last mission, the headmaster suggested that we use the rooms downstairs. It was a great suggestion. There was less noise, and two spacious rooms. Just inside the doorway through that pink wall …
… was a nice coral-colored area where patients could wait …

… have their vitals checked, fill out registration forms, and receive counseling from Juline.

Behind that room was a procedure room with good light and enough room for two tables.

We had bought two portable massage tables on Amazon for under $100 apiece, and they worked GREAT! Strong, comfortable, and easy to clean.

The local kids had a great time trying sneak a peak at the exciting surgery. The patients did not seem to mind.

Dr. Lolagne would call out and give them hell in Creole periodically,

but they were so cute and having so much fun that it was hard to get angry.

But they took posing with us during a mid-day break very seriously.

In the afternoon, Dr. Emmanuel Mareus (“Dr. Manno”) arrived from Limbe with 5 patients. He did their counseling …

while the giggling kids dared each other to overstep the threshold of our makeshift clinic.

Dr. Suarez was delighted to teach when Dr. Manno became an eager student.

Juline did a great job maintaining records,

and Dr. Lolagne signed off on every one. Juline was “on loan” from Dr. Ted Kaplan’s Cap Haitien Health Network, and NSVI is very grateful to Dr. Kaplan and Juline for partnering with us in Haiti. While NSVI provides the framework and equipment, and covers the expenses of our missions in Haiti, the host organization is Dr. Lolagne’s own
National Center for Surgical Contraception

The more Juline knows about the process, the better she will be able to counsel men during future missions.

Dr. Lolagne shares a laugh with a couple of happy (relieved that it was easier than expected) patients.

Any more patients? Send them this way.

How could any man with enough children resist that friendly face?

That final group shot with the patients brought by Dr. Manno from Limbe. We had performed vasectomies on 25 men who had fathered a total of 123 children.

Night falls early in Haiti, which chooses to be in the Central Time Zone despite being 300 miles EAST of Florida. There is no public electricity in Plaisance. This is a rare solar-powered streetlight. When there is no moon, Plaisance gives a whole new meaning to darkness. Ramon poses under the only glow for miles.
NSVI can only hope that the men we have served will spread the word about vasectomy, so that others can see the light of nurturing fewer children more effectively so that those children can get the education they need to transform Haiti from a land of poverty and joblessness to a paradise of economic and cultural success.
from http://www.nsvi.org/where-we-work/haiti/haiti-mission-2012-march/