This is a blog for anyone interested in telling others of their time in Haiti. It's meant more for us to share stories, and please make any comments you'd like in the box below the posts (no need to sign in). Contact Julian if you would like to post on the blog--we welcome anyone doing health-related work in northern Haiti.

While we welcome discussion on this blog, issues meant for feedback from the Network should be posted on the discussion board by emailing

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hopital Convention Baptiste d'Haiti Rehabilitation Service - NOW OPEN

The Hopital Convention Baptiste d'Haiti is pleased to announce that it is now running a Rehabilitation service.

The service can provide support for the following conditions: Spinal cord injuries, strokes, orthopaedic injuries, sports injuries, general rehabilitation, geriatric care, disabled children and adults.

Please come to the Hopital Convention Baptiste d'Haiti, Carrefour Le Mort, on Fridays (8am - 4pm) for a consultation with a UK Physiotherapist and Specialist Rehabilitation Doctor.

You will receive a private medical consultation and session in our physiotherapy gymnasium, where future consultations will be discussed. This service provides support for inpatients and outpatients.

If you have difficulty accessing the service due to transport or would like more information please call: +50934870715 or e-mail and Jethrosouffrance@yahoo.comIf you know of anyone who could benefit from this care please let them know. Rehabilitation can be life saving, and help transform the lives of individuals.

As part of this work we are also building a new specially designed rehabilitation centre on our site for North Haiti.

This project is being run in partnership between the Haiti Hospital Appeal, Christian Blind Mission, The Swiss Paraplegic Foundation, Healing Hands for Haiti, The UN and Konbit Sante.

Hannah Steadman
Cap Haitien Health Network

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Network visit to Danda

Last week we took the opportunity to visit the village of Danda when Dr Steve James and his team of 2 US nurses and 1 other US doctor ran an expanded clinic at the Dispensary.
Pastor Etienne is the clinic administrator, and also runs the school and church. It was great for me to see him in his own community, after meeting him many times in Cap to provide him with cholera and general medical supplies. He is a defiant advocate for the village and it is clear to see how his efforts have benefited the community.
He explained that many people walk up to an hour to Danda to access the church, clinic and school. Danda itself only has a population of 6000, the Church serves over 300 people, and the school has 400 pupils.The clinic was the bustling centre of town, with many people congregating outside. With the large waiting room full, the team had a busy afternoon. At lunchtime I was shown the school, where the children were eagerly tucking into their huge bowls of PAM (World Food Program) rice and beans. Despite their excitement to eat, with each classroom we walked into they all immediately hid their bowls under the table, stood up and greeted me with beaming smiles and a 'bonjou mis'.
Their water situation has recently been improved with the provision of bucket water filters from Haiti Hospital Appeal, which were swarmed with children, each trying to be the first to get a fresh cup of water. This is the only means the community have to access purified water: most people still rely on the 2 hand pumps to give them the water they need to drink and eat with, hoping with every mouthful that it doesn't make them sick.

It was clear to see what an asset Pastor Etienne is to this community: without him the children would not be eating at school and no one would have access to clean water or healthcare. However, there is lot of room for improvement. Currently, there is no full time doctor at the clinic - they depend on Medical Missionaries such as Dr James to help when they can. Pastor Etienne would also like to enable free and easy access to clean water for the whole community, and to ensure everyone is well educated on basic hygiene and cholera prevention methods.
It was a pleasure to see such a bustling and vibrant community in action, and to see that when linked to the appropriate organisations, rural communities such as Danda can have access to food, clean water and healthcare: our basic human rights.

Hannah Steadman
Cap Haitien Health Network

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Team visit to Robillard

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.


Update on Water Purification in the North

The team met with an NGO called World Water Mission last Saturday (Feb 12th). We discussed with them about the work they have been doing here so far, and how easy it would be to purify the unclean water people have been drinking that makes the cholera epidemic worse.
The first example they gave us was the water purification system they had built for Robillard's population: it's really simple. It's a very small electric pump, and a little plastic bag system which purified the water. It is able to purify 13,000 gals of water before needing replacement.
We've also had an update on what SIFAT was able to do on their last day in Cap Haitien this trip, and what their plans are for their next visits starting in a couple of weeks:

"We took 4 Sawyer filters (small systems, for up to 100 people) to Madam Bwa (Shada) and trained several people to use them. Hopefully this will help until we can do more.

We also partnered with Oxfam to install a large system that is now providing clean water to approximately 4,000 people in an area of Cap Haitian which did not previously have access to clean water.

We are scheduled to install 3 more systems in 3 other areas of the city which have approximately 4,000 people in each. With your help we are making great progress in our goal to help provide clean water to the people of Cap Haitian and the surrounding community."

Friday, February 11, 2011

SIFAT Water Treatment being brought to Northern Haiti

SIFAT is an organisation involved in sustainable development across 80 countries. Since the earthquake they have been working to improve the accessibility of clean water in various parts of Haiti. They have, however, just started working in the north region, and have asked the network to help them locate the communities and facilities most in need of water treatment.

'Cowboy', from SIFAT, Cameron from Bahamas Habit (a partner of SIFAT), and I visited Shada on Wednesday as a potential community to help. Madame Bwa showed us an example of a well: less than 10 foot deep, a stack of dirty car tyres used to maintain the hole (pictured). She explained that the majority of people use this water only for showering and washing clothes. However, a lot of people cannot afford the 5 goudes for a gallon of treated water so are forced to drink from this source.

This afternoon we attended the WASH cluster meeting in order for SIFAT to promote their technology to the big WASH players of the north. MSPP, Konbit Sante, MSF (for potential use in their health facilities and to link with their health promotion agents), amongst others, all showed much interest in partnering with SIFAT to provide quick access to clean water. Cowboy will be meeting with the MSPP tomorrow to discuss this work further and has set up other contacts to help when they return in a couple of weeks.

It was a pleasure to be in a position to easily link SIFAT with the relevant people and organisations to maxime their capabilities in providing access to clean water to the north of Haiti - throughout towns and in deep rural localities.

SIFAT will also be coming with a team called 'Floating Doctors' and will be primarily able to serve the remote, coastal communities. They hope to be in Haiti by the end of the month.

Hannah Steadman
Cap Haitien Health Network

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ongoing distribution of cholera treatment supplies and general medical supplies

I am glad to say since Christmas we have seen a significant drop in the number of cholera cases throughout the north and north east regions.

We have continued to distribute many supplies from various donor organisations, but with more focus on general medications which are in great need in many of our member facilities. Direct Relief International and AmeriCares have provided the network with a large quantity of these medications.

We are still distributing cholera supplies but on a much smaller scale. For example, Centre Medical Social in Soufriere collected 120 litres of lactated ringer solution, IV kits and gloves as MSF has just finished supporting them and they are still seeing 8-10 patients a day. The majority of these cholera supplies have come from JPHRO and Bahamas Habitat.

Given the down scaling of this work we have more capacity to visit each facility and deliver these supplies in person, as well as giving us the opportunity to see the facilities operating and to meet the staff. Hannah Steadman
Cap Haitien Health Network