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

Monday, February 18, 2013

Visit to Perches

We made a brief stop in Perches on Feb. 8 after our clinic in Danda.  We had Dr. Mesadieu, who does mobile clinics there, Dr. Eugene, Dr. Ally Joseph, Juline from the Network Support Team, Pastor Elima Etienne from Danda, and some of the visiting students from the nursing and surgical tech school from Lorain Community College in Ohio, with Joseph and Jean Brunel, interpreters, all in Dr. Eugene's truck.

The Network recently connected with the Haitian Baptist Church of Orlando which it turned out has connections, through their pastor, in Perches.  Pastor Antoine Fils-Aime is from there, and has directed his church to assist the village in a long term, broad way.  They are building a new church, which will have a clinic.  They bring a team with medical and other volunteers to the village at least once a year.  Patrick Delice and Jean Leblanc are part of the HABCO Haiti mission leadership team that I met in Orlando.

I was surprise that Perches was a little larger, better organized, and nicer than expected for a village that does not show up on most maps.  It is in the northeast department, not too far from Grand Bassin, which is a central larger village south of Terrier Rouge.

Dr. Mesadieu introduced us to the nurse in charge of the Dispensaire of Perches (currently the only healthcare there), named Paul Marie Lourdes.  She is pictured with Dr. Mesadieu.  Coincidentally, he and her husband also have a connection with Fort Bourgeois, way back near Cap Haitien, where Dr. Mesadieu has his ULS clinic.  We also met the other nurse of the dispensaire.

The dispensaire has an exam room, a central main room, and a pharmacy with just a handful of meds on part of one shelf.  

They have a separate semipermanent cholera tent, an education area, and a latrine.

They would welcome visiting volunteers and mobile clinic teams to help them.

On the way out, we stopped at the guest house that the HABCO members stay, and met the owner.  It was a very nice house with nice grounds, and they were receiving visitors just coming in for Kanaval.

We look forward to working with Perches and HABCO as participants in the Network.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lecture at Justinien

I was happy to be invited to speak on a pediatric topic at the conference room of Justinien Hospital on Wednesday, Feb. 6.  The talk was organized by Patricia Sedlak, RN, professor at Lorain Community College in Ohio, and Yanick from the the North Haiti Nurses Association.  Continuing Education Credits for nurses with American licenses were arranged, too.  The pediatric residents and some other doctors from surgery and anesthesia also attended, as well as Pat's visiting nursing and surgical tech students.  The room was PACKED, at least 60 people, I would estimate.

The talk was entitled "Essential Physical Assessment in Pediatrics, or, Why a examination must be done for a sick child".  The power point presentation, with some pretty clear photos I was able to gather, is posted on the files section of the Network's Yahoo group, if you are interested.  The talk was very practical and clinical, emphasizing how the findings completely change your management, so if you haven't examined for them, you can easily be doing the wrong management for your patient.  I also was able to demonstrate ausculation, ear, and throat exams through the projector and demonstration.  I also brought a digital camera integrated otoscope which didn't work great but did show some of the picture of a normal ear to the audience.

I had some nursing students try to look in one of the visiting volunteers ears to demonstrate that technique.  I think it is especially important to Haitian nurses who often practice along in village dispensaire's.  One of the first students scratched the volunteers ear with the ear speculum; after that I could show the next students what blood in the ear canal looked like (but I abandoned having them using the otoscope solo--I told them to practice on ear other).  

A lively discussion followed the talk.  We have the help of young surgeon , who turned out to be the best medical English-Creole interpreter in the room.  I also had the great help of psychologist Dr. Joseph Saintus who interpreted the bulk of the presentation.

I haven't done something like this for a while, and it was always with a much more dry research bend, so it was different, and pretty fun, and I think gave the audience something to think about, and something to practice!