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, April 28, 2011

Amputee Sports Open Day Thursday 5th May

Haiti Hospital Appeal (Convention Baptist D'Haiti) in Quatier Morin have partnered with the National Amputee Football Team to hold an open day for amputees in the Cap Haitien area on Thursday 5th May.

There will be a mixture of sporting and keep fit activities held in the morning, followed by a football match integrating the National Amputee Football Team into play.
We are encouraging any amputees who are interested in sport, keeping fit, or advocating for people with disabilities to join this event. This is an exciting opportunity for people with amputations to come together, learn about ways to keep fit and to partake in a football match with professional, international players.

If you know of anyone who would be interested please contact myself on the numbers below, or Carwyn on 38922123 to sign up.

Hannah Steadman

Cap Haitien Health Network

First signs of second wave of cholera reported today

Today the network team has heard the first whispers of the second wave of cholera. 27 patients were seen yesterday in Robillard, after seeing between 0-2 per day since February. Fortunately they have had no deaths so far and are connected with Haiti Hospital Appeal's Cholera Treatment Centre and ambulance service. The network team have replenished their supplies and MSF are setting up a CTU nearby.

St Suzanne saw 8 patients yesterday, after seeing none for a couple of months.

The network team has some pre-positioned cholera materials and are partnered with IOM to provide assistance with supplies where needed.

It is thought this second wave has been instigated by the start of mango season, where mangos are commonly eaten after dropping on the ground.

The network team will continue to support clinics as best we can.

Hannah Steadman
Cap Haitien Health Network

Floating Doctors, Haiti Hospital Appeal and MamaBaby joining forces

Since Floating Doctors arrived they have been working in collaboration with four different clinics along the coast, seeing up to 50 patients a day and have identified a relatively large number of patients who would benefit from physiotherapy.

With Haiti Hospital Appeal (HHA)'s rehab centre open, they have started doing community outreach therapy and nursing care to patients unable to make it to the hospital.

In the last few weeks the network has collaborated this work, to be able to provide physio sessions at the Floating Doctors' clinics, enabling HHA to refer appropriate cases to inpatient or outpatient therapy, and also helping promote this service in different villages around Cap.

Yesterday we also collaborated with MamaBaby to provide an expanded clinic in Camp Louise. With Dr Ben from Floating Doctors, Dr Zeenia, a naturopathic doctor from MamaBaby, physio Manette from HHA and staff from Camp Louise clinic, we treated 79 patients, despite having to close the clinic early due to overcrowding.

We are hoping to continue this collaboration at least once a week whilst Floating Doctors are still with us.

Hannah Steadman

Cap Haitien Health Network

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Update on Network Team Activities February and March

These last couple of months have seen a steady stream of visiting teams coming to Cap and working in various member clinics. Pat Sedlak brought a team of lecturers, dentists and nursing students who provided much needed dental services to residents of Limonade and Shada, as well as supporting Dr Junior at the Cap Haitien Dental Institute at Justinien Hospital. The lecturers and nursing students provided training sessions and helped out in the maternity and paediatric wards at Justinien Hospital. Max supported them greatly, including organising a trip to Cymas in Limonade, to visit a very poorly supported group of orphans. The team very kindly donated a large bag of rice and oil, cake and toys to the group of single mothers caring for these children, who sang wonderful words of liberation in return.

Patricia Eddie brought a medical team to work at St Suzanne, and Mary Larkin to Jakzi, Roche Platt and Pilette, who Juline fully supported, including providing translation services. Juline is currently supporting Dr Ford's mission team working in Tovar. Having gained experience working with myself as a physio, she was able to identify and refer a new stroke patient to the Haiti Hospital Appeal Rehab Centre, and the visiting team gave the patient money to cover her expenses.

Floating Doctors also finally made it to the North Coast and have been busy working in the most needy areas. After working in Shada, they moved on to Labadi and Bay D'Acul. They have returned to Labadi due to the large amounts of acutely unwell patients there. From large numbers of infections, to providing follow up on post surgical cases, even to shark attacks! They flagged up so many cases that would benefit from physio, that we organised an outreach and triage service from Haiti Hospital Appeal, seeing 20 patients during the doctors' clinic. Floating Doctors have also brought a large amount of medical supplies, donated by DRI which are currently being distributed by our team.

Supplies continue to be acquired and distributed at a steady rate. DRI, Bahamas Habitat, Clean the World and IOM have all been providing life saving medical and hygiene materials. We are also working with Grass Roots United to allow us to pre position cholera supplies in anticipation of the next wave, which MSF estimates will be mid May, the start of mango season.

The Network Team continue to visit our members organisations and support them the best we can. Over the last two months we have visited over 20 members, 3 organisations have joined the network, and greater relationships have been built with many of our existing members. We continue to have a presence at the health and WASH (water and sanitisation and hygiene) cluster meetings, and introduce new members to them, including SIFAT and Living Water.

We are continuing to improve coordination between water NGOs and have been mainly working with DINEPA (governmental organisation), Oxfam, SIFAT, Living Water and Konbit Sante to improve their collaboration.

I am also continuing to support the Haiti Hospital Appeal Rehab Unit by providing training to the therapists, new nurses and nursing students, working with the therapists to implement the documentation, and to work with the multi disciplinary team to facilitate service improvements. I have also been involved with the validation of the new SEIPH guidelines on working on improving access to healthcare and rehab for people with disabilities. Being a member of the network team has been valuable in helping promote Haiti Hospital Appeal's new rehab service to clinics, services and visiting teams across the region.

We look forward to Julian joining the Network Support Team at the end of May which we hope will broaden the scope of our work and how we can support our members. Hannah Steadman
Cap Haitien Health Network

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yale Global Health Conference

I can't wait to go to Cap in a month, but in the meantime I'm trying to get a final fill of learning from afar about the issues down there.  This weekend was a fun-filled one at the Yale Global Health and Innovation Conference, put on by Unite for Sight, an amazing NGO dedicated to supporting eye clinics worldwide by investing in human and financial resources in their social ventures to eliminate patient barriers to eye care.  It was filled with lots of inspiration nuggets and interesting people--a real celebration of that huge multitude of activities which we label "global health".  Sometimes the sheer creativity involved in an organization's work would be the most memorable thing, like when Sasha Kramer of SOIL talked about her organization's work installing toilets in Haiti and collecting the compost as a way to improve sanitation and renew the soil from the effects of deforestation.  Or in a talk by Living Goods about its micro-finance operations in Uganda with door-to-door health promoters who make a modest income selling essential health products (soap, etc.) at prices affordable to the poor. They have impressive supply chain and distribution system which combine real buying power of basic products in bulk (to allow for low prices) with a network of distribution centers to keep the health promoters supplied with goods for their mini-businesses.  Throughout the talks are reminders which are usually both cliche and true, and which I have heard many times but always need reminding of, like:

--Do not just provide medical care, but empower communities to provide it for themselves

--Determine the impact you really care about, find a metric to measure it, and follow through with measuring it

--Do not expect everything to go as planned, and be prepared for detours

--You may have a great product or service, but make sure people have access to it

The list could go on.  Needless to say I had a great time, but at the same it made me feel a really urgent need to really get out there and get things done!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Moving wear houses

The Cap-Haitien Network Team distributed supplies that IOM given out to the Haiti Village Heath and Sonja Ayiti today (04/15/2011). They will be dividing the supplies either to their clinics or the people of their community.

The Cap-Haitien Network Team relocated to a new wear house location, we are no longer located at World Food Program. Our new location provides more space to receive more medication that can be distributed to the clinics in the north and north east of Cap-Haitien.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hands up for Haiti and Vassar Haiti Project

Hi, I'm Julian, and will going down to Cap from late May through the end of the year, supplementing and then replacing Hannah Steadman's role as team leader of the Network Support Team!  I'm super excited to go down!  I'm originally from Montana and am in my final year of Yale's joint Bachelors of Arts/Masters of Public Health Program.  I'll be going to work in the health care and public/social sector practices of McKinsey & Company when I return from Haiti.
It's been exciting to connect with some of the Network Organizations in the northeast US since joining the team a few weeks ago.  I attended a meeting with Hands up for Haiti last weekend.  Many topics were discussed, including logistics related to getting volunteers down to Haiti, fund raising, and procurement of medications.  It was exciting to hear about the degree of community involvement--there are so many people in the NY metro region and beyond interested in getting involved!

Yesterday I went to the Vassar Haiti Project, a great effort celebrating its tenth year anniversary.  They get lots of great artwork from Haitian artists and sell it at the Auction to support their projects in the village of Chermaitre, Haiti (near Gros-Morne in the northwest), supporting the artists' livelihoods in turn.  The project started as an effort to build a school, which now operates as a fully functional 7 room school (before it had only 1 room)!  They work with church leaders and community members to do an impressive array of projects in the village and surrounding area, including reforestation (done by local workers) and a new project to build a medical clinic and find staff to operate it.  I was really impressed by the depth of the college students' involvement--it's hard to find that on a college campus since there is always so much going on!

Please contact me if we can do anything for you, and again, I'm excited to get to know people involved in Haiti!

Julian Malinak