Dear friends of Haiti Health Initiative (HHI),
We extend to you our sincere gratitude for your generous donation to help improve the lives of the people of rural Haiti. Because of your tremendous financial support and the major sacrifices from US and Haitian construction teams, we were able to bring about many amazing things in 2014. We will share with you a few of these wonderful accomplishments and we hope you know that it is because of you that we can do what we do.
We were thrilled to be part of the first medical team able to use the newly built Multipurpose Community Center in Timo. With some generous donations and hard work from Americans and Haitians, the Center was finished in time for the medical and dental clinics. The residents of Timo are extremely proud to have it as part of their community. It is large enough to run the entire clinic in, including triage, three primary care physician rooms, and the nursing station, lab, pharmacy, and ophthalmology room. The center is equipped with solar panels, two bathrooms with running water for a shower, and two sleeping rooms with bunk beds. What a wonderful blessing the center is to that community!
Our medical team saw 759 patients in 4½ days. Each patient was first able to go through our education stations and learn about a wide variety of health topics, including cholera prevention, dental hygiene, prenatal care, breastfeeding, anemia, the importance of wearing shoes, and general sanitation measures. Along with the education, we distributed 63 newborn kits, 25 birthing kits, and 187 hygiene kits. For the first time, we taught about menstruation, the importance of the use of clean feminine hygiene products, and how to make sani-pads. We distributed 300 washable sani-pad kits to girls between the ages of 10-20.
As the patients came into the clinic, they were sent to different areas according to their needs. Children were given Vitamin A and Albenza to help fight anemia and intestinal worms and to help with eyesight and general growth. Children and pregnant/breastfeeding women were sent to the lab station to have their hemoglobin levels checked for anemia. After that, they were sent to the ophthalmologist and then to the primary care physicians.
Our amazing physicians provided compassionate and quality care to each patient who came through the Community Center. They treated a wide variety of medical problems, including hypertension, anemia, malnutrition, fungal and bacterial infections and provided prenatal care, newborn care, and pediatric care. Each day our physicians were able to refer out the most severe cases, which included cases of women with preeclampsia, an infant with a septic knee, a 14 year-old boy with a severe heart murmur, and a gentleman with a tumor. Fellow Haitians accompanied these referred patients to nearby hospitals. We have heard reports about each referred patient and have ongoing efforts to support their needed treatment. Each day our physicians, along with a community health worker, hiked into the countryside and did home visits. These 23 home visits were very rewarding for both the patients and the physicians. Those visited in their homes were very sick patients who were too ill to travel to the clinic. They were extremely grateful for the care they received in their homes.
Our wonderful ophthalmologist saw 241 patients. His teenage son helped to collect 1,000 pairs of eye glasses for his Eagle Scout project and distributed 50 pairs of prescription glasses and 200 pairs of reading glasses. A special thank you to all those involved in helping him with his project.
We were very lucky to have two wonderful dietitians on our team who served in many capacities. They were available for nutritional consults for the very malnourished patients, and they went on home visits, taught classes on nutrition in the village elementary school, and worked closely with the local leadership to train the people on how to use the newly built solar dehydrator.
Our hard-working pharmacist, her assistant, and the Haitian interpreter were extremely busy. They dispensed 1,199 prescriptions including prenatal and children’s vitamins. In addition, our American and Haitian nurses were able to dispense 104 doses of Vitamin A because of the generous donation from Vitamin Angels. We are grateful for your monetary donation and for significant contributions from partner organizations such as Globus Relief, Blessings International, MAP International, Americares, and Kingsway Charities.
Lastly, we had an excellent group of registrars and data-entry specialists who spent many hours to ensure that we have organized records which will help track patient progress. We also had a dedicated team of interpreters who tirelessly worked to facilitate communication between patients and providers. We are grateful to our Haitian sister organization and our local partners for their continued support in organizing the logistics of our trips.
It truly takes a team of dedicated people to bring about good in the world. We would like to thank you for being a part of our team as donors. We saw in the face of each patient the gratitude of life touched, the joy of two cultures working together, and the hope of a healthier life. As we left the village, many people shook our hands and said in Creole, “Do not forget us.” Those four words are a powerful reminder of the good that has been rendered and also the possibilities of what we can still do.
Thank you again friends.
The HHI October 2014 Team