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.
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This week, with deep melancholy, we have to say goodbye, for now, to our dedicated physiotherapist and Network Support Team leader since last October, Hannah Steadman. Hannah, who came here last summer to volunteer as on the rehab service with Haiti Hospital Appeal for a few months, decided to stay longer and was fortunately referred to us at the Cap Haitien Health Network. Unfortunately, as she joined us, the cholera epidemic was just starting, and her and the Team spent several months of working on overdrive to try to keep up with all of the coordination work required as one place after another became affected. Hannah was very successful at connecting all of our member clinics and organizations far and wide with the new and old organizations that came to help, notably Doctors without Borders, along with MSPP and many of us trying to help from abroad.
Hannah capably led the Network Support Team as it continues to create and deliver a palette of services to the health programs in the region, coordinating receipt of meds, supplies, soap and other hygiene supplies, (and volunteers) from new and old partners and distribution to new and old members of the Network, and fostering collaboration wherever possible. She also has set up a large consortium of "water" organizations to work on a coordinated effort to assess and improve water purity all around the region. And managing to keep our original 2001 Kia Sportage still running after 1 very hard year of service! (We still await release any day of a newer better vehicle which customs is trying to make sure she does not get the pleasure of riding in before she leaves.)
Along and aside with this, she still was able to help identify and expand the PT and rehab services in the region, identifying patients all around who needed services, providing and connecting them with services, and helping with the continued development of rehab inpatient and outpatient services at Haiti Hospital Appeal and elsewhere.
4965 emails (before this one) later, always with a smile and endless patience and her British charm, she has demonstrated selfless devotion to helping the poor and sick of northern Haiti while being a wonderful friend to myself and many, many others. Hannah has made a gigantic impact and will be greatly missed. She promises to come back to us next year and we hope and pray that we should be so lucky for her to be able to do that. Whatever happens in the future, we know that she will continue to be a blessing and be blessed many times over for her sacrifices. Au revoir, and safe travels and all the best, please join me in thanking and appreciating Hannah !!
During one of our (HBHH) trips to Dilaire I attended a school for malnourished children that is supported by the Catholic priest in that area . The teachers were kind enough to let us visit briefly with the children and take pictures. I noticed one of the children had a cleft palate and determined we would help bring the child to the US for surgery/repair. I contacted Ted Kaplan and he suggested I contact Anne Beckett at Partners in Health (PIH) to see if the surgery could be done in Haiti since that is always the preferable choice.
Fortunately, Operation Smile is working routinely in Haiti doing cleft palate and cleft lip repair. Anne put the child on the list and we waited. It is important to note that before a child is sent to Operation Smile for surgery you will need to make sure the child is well nourished and iron levels are good. We sent iron supplements immediately so the child would get approved for surgery. In the meantime, we found out Operation Smile was not going to make a trip to PIH for a year so Anne directed me to the Smile Train contact person in PAP. Within six months they contacted me and said they were ready to receive the patient. They paid all transportation costs to get the mother and child to Jacmel. Additionally, they coordinated and paid for food and housing while they stayed in Jacmel, where the surgery occurred until the child was able to return to Dilaire.
Today Djailcovsky and I went along the read to the DR and made two visits to growing clinics that were new contacts for the Network. Find the full details on the "Details" tab at the Inventory page of the website
In Ferrier: Beraaca Clinic
They have school, ophanage, church, and clinic all together!
They are making a bigger pharmacy.
The diseases seemed to be a pretty standard mix with some variations. They mentioned vaginal infection and typhoid were particularly bad. But very little cholera!
Malfety (by ft liberte) 7-1 visit
This is a growing clinic: Father Tiyou built a large, brand new clinic that will begin being used soon.
An interesting approach to malnutrition: they show relatives how to mix an enriched milk paste.