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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New DASH Hospital

Thanks to FON (Friend of the Network) Hans Schutt, I learned more about the new hospital that has opened in Cap, and he recommended I see it, so I did on Saturday Oct. 20.  Hans explained that it primarily is based on an employer paid health plan, with small deductables for employees or their families to get care.  They also offer services for fee for service, and are open 24-7.

On the way there, I met former Network Support Team intern and Network interpreter Jean Brunel Louis, and we went together to the facility just past the cathedral on the main square at 17K called DASH.  It is a 4 story light green (color of healthcare) building still receiving some finishing touches.  We were welcomed by Bertholot Laroche, part of the administration, who took us on a tour.  They have a beautiful waiting room, clinic area, lab, pharmacy, OR, delivery area, and inpatient rooms are upstairs, including a large private room with a view of the town square.

I also had the chance to speak by phone with the founder, Dr. Ronald Laroche.  He tells me they have 6 of such centers in Port-au-Prince, and that they are a nonprofit.  We discussed many ways that we might work together, including a place to receive referrals from clinics and teams for x-rays, labs, and admissions, and we started the process of having the DASH Hospital join the Cap Haitien Health Network.  We welcome them and thank them for bringing such a modern and well organized facility to Cap Haitien!!

Visit to Ft. Liberte and HHA Fitness Center

On Friday October 19, I went with the Network Support Team on my second ever visit to Ft. Liberte.  We stopped first at the MSPP office to try to see Dr. Jean Denis Pierre, the Northeast director, but he was out of the country.  We were given the chance to have a nice long chat with Msr Alce Estelius, who is an epidemiologist with that office.  He was very familiar with things that are going on there that we had wanted to talk about with the director, so it was a valuable meeting.  

We had been concerned about capacity with the community expansions in Limonade and Caracol, and found out that there are going to be expansions for the hospitals in Trou du Nord and at Ft. Liberte, and that a new hospital is planned at the junction of the main road with the road to Caracol and Jakzi.  We also discussed the new Children's Medical Centre at Danita's Children and agreed to try to work together to help forward the regulatory processes that will be needed.  

Our mission of communication, cooperation, collaboration, and coordination was welcome by Msr Esterlius and we invited him to join our Yahoo group and to invite the Network and Network Support Team to the northeast cluster meetings and to send us the minutes to share with the Network.

Next we went to Ft. Liberte Hospital.  While the town was quiet, the hospital was hopping, both with patients and visitors coming to speak with the very busy Dr. Decomme, the hospital director.  She did make ample time for us to discuss how things are going there and how we can help.  We explained about how the hospital can have access to medication and supply distributions, and agreed to work together on sending volunteer medical personnel to the hospital.  There were nursing students from Cap working all over the hospital, too.

Dr. Decomme then took us on a tour of most of the hospital and relayed equipment needs that they have. The hospital has 32 beds, and 12 need to be replaced, for example.  They have only a few IV poles, and very worn delivery beds.  She asked for training on the ultrasound machine they have, and for a refrigerator, and help with improving the electricity situation there.  They also need biomed technicians to fix some things, like their infant warmer, and a sterilizer brought there by the Network Support Team (from Direct Relief).

While we were leaving a medication distribution for the hospital, a women about to deliver came to the front of the hospital and looked like she wasn't planning to go any farther and deliver her baby right there!  Dr. Decomme directed them to please go down the hall a little way where the delivery nurse and a few nursing students were waiting in the delivery area to take care of them, and the father readily complied, helping the new mother make it to a much better place to have her baby.

On the way back to Cap, we stopped at Haiti Hospital Appeal to bring a laryngoscope and some intubation materials donated by my employer, After Hours Pediatrics, to Dr. Toussaint, who was not there at that time.   It is always a pleasure to visit HHA, since they are always adding something new and exciting!  Carwyn took us on a tour of all the new areas such as labor and delivery and nursery and pediatrics that are all now functioning, showed the new recovery center that is in advanced construction next to the almost complete operating room, and the new fitness center (pictured). This will be used to help in the rehabiliation programs, and be open for a fee to the community.  As you can see, it is first class (and solar powered!)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sacre Coeur Nutrition Centre

On Sept. 12, for the first time, I was tasked with seeing patients on my own here in Cap. I was not exactly on my own, as I had Edia to interpret for me and a great nurse. The center is actually a nutrition center for children and the elderly. They come there for 2 meals a day and for some medications. They are also given fortified peanut butter to use at home. The center is supported by several different organizations in Canada and the United States.
The experience was wonderful and we were able to see 17 patients in about 2.5 hours. There were cases of tinea capitis and corporis, pneumonia, GU infections, and other febrile illnesses. The ages ranged from 5 years old up to the 70s.
Afterward, we had lunch which was a delicious soup called Pumpkin Soup. It was full of yams, beef, carrots, and very flavorful. I think the service provided by the center is excellent and with these types of meals, I am sure the children and adults are on their way to better nutrition. It was a pleasure to be there.

Visit to Limbe

On Thursday Oct. 18, we also visited the lovely town of Limbe.  

We stopped by to see our friend Sandy, administrator at Hopital Bon Samaritan, to update her on what is happening in the Network, and to drop off some meds and supplies for the Hospital.  She says they have a surgical teams coming in the coming months, including OB, urology, and orthopedics.  

We also stopped by Hopital St. Jean, but the administrator was out of town.

We then met Dr. Richemond Jean Baptiste at his developing medical facility in "Ravine des Roches Limbe" called Hopital San Raphael of Ravine des Roches Limbe.  He wants to increase the services and the health education to the community.  He has training in community health.  They are currently open weekdays, and have several nice and well equipped examining rooms, lab and pharmacy (pictured), and plan to have specialty areas and an operating room in the future.  They charge a global 250 gourdes fee, but will reduce or waive it for those that cannot pay. He welcomes visiting teams to work with him, and has short and long term housing available.  

On the way back, we stopped by to see our friend Dr. Rodney Baptiste at the OMS clinic in Vaudreuil.  We updated him on Network activities and left some medication for their pharmacy from Americares and DRI.  

Clinic Visits West of Cap on Oct. 18, 2012

The Network Support Team and I visited some in and on the way to Limbe on Thursday Oct. 18.  

We first stopped by L'Acul Catholic Clinic and dropped off some medications for their pharmacy. 

Then we visited Eben Ezer Clinic in Haut Limbe, which has been in the Network for a long time, but which I have never had the chance to see.  We met the new administrator Henri Claude Robert and the nurse Isnemar Doravil.  We learned that they have 6-7 doctors, all supported by the one nurse, Isemar.  They are open 7 days and take urgencies, and end up seeing 23-60+ patients per day.  Henri, who has worked in the healthcare field in the US,  showed us the large pharmacy to support so many patient visits, and the Team dropped off some medications from DRI and Americares.  We explained what the Network has to offer to help support their work, and there was special interest in sending staff to do Helping Babies Breathe training.

Fall 2012 Network Meeting highlights

We held the 12th Network business meeting at the beautiful conference room of Hotel Christophe on Wednesday Oct 17.  There was supposed to be manifestations in the street that cut down on some attendance, but we were happy to welcome 35 or so attendees, including dignitaries such as DSN/MSPP cholera coordinator Dr. Romel (pictured), who spoke to the group with an update on that serious problem.

We were also glad to welcome local dignitaries including journalist Cyrus Sibert and Commissar Ferney Saint Juste from the Haitian National Police.

Our own Network Support Team members Juline and Covsky received certificates of completion of their pharmacy tech course given by pharmacist Oreste Volcy from Beraca Clinic in Port de Paix.

There was also a special power point presentation by Meike Schleiff and Snarly Colas on the great work they have been doing in La Souffriere with the GROW Project.