Get Your HHI Fall Newsletter Here!

newsletter 2013 imageHeart to Heart International’s Fall 2013 Newsletter is
now available for download as a PDF.

To access the 2013 Fall Newsletter, simply click one of the images in this email to download a PDF of the newsletter, or click here.

This version is designed to be easily read and viewed on your computer or mobile device. (mobile users: this is best viewed using a PDF viewer like the free Adobe Reader app). This format is also perfect for sharing with others!

newsletter image verticalThe content of this online version is the same as our printed version… But there’s more!
Look for ‘clickable’ links and images throughout to learn and see more of what HHI is doing.  In this edition you’ll learn:

  • Why Sustainability is so important to us and the people we serve
  • How HHI is addressing water and sanitation issues in the fight against cholera in Haiti
  • The amount of aid delivered around the USA & the World in the first half of 2013
  • How corporate donors help us create a Ripple Effect in safety-net clinics
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • How You Can Help in 4 Easy Ways!

Thank you for taking the time to read about the latest with Heart to Heart International…
…and Thank You for your continued support!

Into the Mountains: Battling Cholera in Haiti

intro screengrabFor several months, Heart to Heart International (HHI) has led an anti-cholera campaign in the remote mountains of southeast Haiti, centered around the village of Cascade Pichon.

The video below gives an overview of the campaign and showcases how HHI is working to get in front of any new cholera outbreaks in the region, by not just bringing in needed aid supplies, but by hiking up into the mountains to educate the populace from one remote village to the next. The video also shows how local residents are stepping up to volunteer with HHI to help their own communities fight the scourge of cholera.

Education is key in battling cholera in Haiti…

To help fund these anti-cholera campaigns and other efforts to create access to healthcare in Haiti, please donate.

And please share this video on places like Facebook and other locations to let others know about our work in Haiti!

###

Heart to Heart Hosts Haiti Development Summit

Cascade PichonIt was remarkable really.

Momentous even, that so many representatives for so many different entities chose to come to Cascade Pichon, a place quite literally at the end of the road (picture above), in a far remote corner of Haiti, difficult to reach, to talk development and healthcare with Heart to Heart International… we’re all still a bit stunned that it actually happened. But we’re all very pleased too!

The purpose of the Summit was to jump-start all of the things that have been talked about & planned for this far-flung area of Haiti, to get as many groups and government ministries involved as possible, and to get them to Cascade Pichon.

Woman_1This is one of the areas where Heart to Heart has worked for three years to broaden access to healthcare for the citizens of Haiti. There’s a new Heart to Heart health clinic in Cascade Pichon where residents, seeking care, hike down from the mountains on foot to reach. We recently launched a five-week comprehensive Cholera response to aid and educate from here. And this is where we deploy not just Haitian doctors and nurses, but medical and non-medical volunteers to help us reach our goals.

And this is where dozens of people gathered, Thursday, April 4th, 2013 to talk about the future of healthcare for thousands of residents far off the beaten path in Haiti. It’s worth mentioning the date as we hope it serves as a milestone moment.

Both Heart to Heart and The Federation of Peasants of Pichon hosted the summit where government officials, NGO representatives and local leaders met to chiefly talk sustainable development.
For the Government of Haiti this was a Director level meeting and representatives of several GoH Ministries were on hand: Health, Tourism, Education, Environment, Planification (Economic Development).
And from Heart to Heart International both CEO Krystal Barr and CFO Bud Jeffress were in-country, and joined our Haitian staff of doctors, nurses and executive personnel.

The result from this historic summit? A commitment to improve the road to Cascade Pichon and invest more in the healthcare infrastructure of the area.
It’s not everything that needs to be done, but it’s a start. A good start.

DW HHI

What follows are photos from the Summit. Click any to begin a slideshow.

Combating Cholera in Haiti

Cholera Response

This isn’t an easy fight, but it’s one that Heart to Heart International is committed to waging.
As we blogged recently, Cholera has flared in the remote southeast of Haiti around the picturesque area of Cascade Pichon.  Where the outbreak stems from, we’re not sure yet.  But its affect is apparent.
In our survey of the outbreak in this small region we found nearly two dozen people died from cholera and more than 50 contracted it, were treated, and thankfully survived.

cholera bacteriumCholera is relatively new to Haiti, believed to have been introduced for the first time in 2010 in the months following the January earthquake.  It is a bacterial infection of the small intestine that causes a large amount of watery diarrhea.  It causes severe and rapid dehydration, cramps, dry mouth and skin, excessive thirst, lethargy and nausea.
The CDC: The cholera bacterium is usually found in water or food sources that have been contaminated by feces (poop) from a person infected with cholera. Cholera is most likely to be found and spread in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene.

 

This is where Heart to Heart comes in.  We’ve mobilized a response of not just supplies needed – like oral rehydration salts and hand-washing materials – but our professional Haitian staff consisting of doctors, nurses and public health workers.  The goal:  To treat those affected, to help them recover and to train the local population in cholera prevention.
What follows is a gallery of photos from Heart to Heart’s ongoing response to combat cholera. Click a photo to begin the slideshow.

Cholera Strikes Again

Just mention – Haiti – and many folks will think about the earthquake that devastated the country three years ago this month.
Though the quake and its aftermath continue to reverberate across Haiti, to be honest, that was a long time ago, especially if you’re marking time on a calendar by crisis.  Recent hurricanes and the continued threat of Cholera, really highlight how fragile the health system remains for Haitians, especially for those living in remote areas.

This month, Cholera flared in a region where Heart to Heart helped to beat it back in 2010/2011.  For the past few weeks, our in-country staff has been responding to an outbreak in the remote, mountainous Southeast area of Haiti.

What follows are excerpts from a report on the flare-up from HHI’s Executive Director in Haiti Steve Weber:

◊◊◊

Inside a Cholera Treatment CenterPhoto: A patient lies in a Cholera Treatment Center bed,
while a health care worker sprays disinfectant
◊◊◊

STEVE: Bottom line… Cholera has struck right in the heart of Cascade Pichon, and the surrounding villages of upper Pichon.  There is a Government Cholera Treatment Center at Bel Anse on the coast, but it’s located about two hours by car from our clinic at Cascade Pichon in the mountains.

We left Port-au-Prince with our country director Christophe Rodrigue, our public health nurse Louise Polidor, Jon Campbell from One5Foundation, and one of our American Volunteer MDs.  We met with our 15 village health workers in the area, interviewed approximately 40 of the 52 cholera patients in the immediate area of our clinic at Cascade Pichon.  And we also interviewed the families of several of the 16 deceased cholera victims of the cholera in the area.

The next day my team continued on to Bel Anse to tour the government hospital there. This story is worth telling in its own right.  Two courageous government doctors were at the hospital. Overwhelmed with patients, one of two doctor’s contract had finished on December 31, but he was remaining – without pay – to attempt to deal with the emergency. Most of the 52 cholera victims from Cascade Pichon owe their lives to this wonderful young man who is staying way beyond his December 31 contract completion date….the others doctors had left.  
If we do nothing else, we must protect and save as many lives as possible in the area immediately surrounding our clinic at Cascade Pichon.

Cholera Education HaitiSo, what happens now?

Supplies are arriving this week to mount an attack on cholera, and to support the one Cholera Treatment Center in the region.  We’re deploying a Haitian medical team, that includes a public health nurse, and will use a three prong attack:  Prevent, Educate & Treat.
It’s similar to how we beat back cholera in the region in 2010/2011.  Let’s hope it works.

DW HHI