Nearly Finished School Excites in Haiti

As part of our Community Development work in the remote southeast of Haiti, we’ve been helping to coordinate the building of a school in Cascade Pichon.
Now, the school is partially open and should be completed before the year is out.

CP School #1

We recently featured this school and our development work underway in Cascade Pichon, along with the impression this new school is having on the children of this community.  Here are a couple of excerpts from that story:

10-year-old Deswin says to me, “This is going to be the best school in all of Pichon.”   I thought to myself, “Well, that can’t be too difficult… the school you have now is a tiny one-room building with overflow benches outside under a tarp that has seen better days. The school is so small that hundreds of children don’t go to school because there is simply no room.”

In 2013, the Cascade Pichon Federation decided it was time to start addressing the next big need – Education.  The federation purchased land for the school and then, through building partnerships, Heart to Heart International helped to facilitate the building of the school, working in coordination with the Haitian government which has agreed to send teachers to instruct the children.

Two classrooms are finished and open to students and four more are still being finished. A few days ago, a mini dedication took place for those who are backing the building of the school – an anonymous foundation and the Mid-America Nazarene University – and was attended by a large number of school-children who are using, and who will use, this school.  Check out all those kids in the photo below!

CP School Children Walking

According to Wes Comfort, our deputy director of programs in Haiti, “The community is beyond excited, the kids are smiling ear to ear, and families are excited that their children will be able to get a sound education in a proper school without having to leave the community to go to Belle-Anse, Jacmel, or even Port-au-Prince.”

This is progress.  This is good.

 

 

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!

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Welch Allyn Volunteer Team in Haiti (Part Two)

Recently, a five-member team of Welch Allyn employees traveled to the Caribbean on a Volunteer Service Trip (VST) to assist our Haiti Operations.
For a week, the team conducted training on donated equipment, provided direct patient care and even got sweaty and covered in paint putting finishing touches on a Heart to Heart clinic.

What follows is Part Two of a guest blog by Sue Mangicaro, RN, Director of Clinical Affairs at Welch Allyn, originally published on advanceweb.com, as she describes some of the team’s experiences as volunteers with Heart to Heart.
To read Part One, click…

Sue Mangicaro:  Today, John Haberstock and I headed to Dufort, Haiti, to work with two volunteer doctors from the United States and Dr. Jean-Anis Louis, the Haitian clinician who works with Heart to Heart. We drove to the clinic through an area that looked like a jungle with lush vegetation on roads that were really just a dirt path.

 

 

 

There were mango and papaya trees along the way, as well as goats, roosters, mules and oxen. While we may not always have what we need, we follow the Haitian saying, “dégagé,” which means to do the best with what you have.  Most of the time we have no running water nor electricity (at clinic sites), but are able to treat people with what we have available to us. We are seeing some Malaria, hypertension, dehydration and multiple infections. I can not stress how reassuring it is to have our Welch Allyn equipment with us, knowing that the devices are reliable, and the amazing group of interpreters who’ve become like family after years of working side-by-side.

 

The team that has been helping Heart to Heart construct a new healthcare clinic has also been very busy. They are determined to finish what they set out to do – get the clinic as close to being ready for use as possible. The team has completely finished painting the outside of the building, installed ceilings in five rooms, painted all five rooms and built the patient waiting area. All of this work was done in extreme heat and humidity with the help of the Haitian construction crew.
Jim Colvin said how grateful he was to be working with the Haitian crew, who were incredibly skilled, because they made it that much easier for our team to work together and complete this task. Steve Hower, director of corporate relations at Heart to Heart, was also a key participant and was willing to tackle any task at hand.

Click a photo below to enter slideshow mode…

Look for Part Three soon, with more photos from the Welch Allyn Volunteer Service Trip to Haiti with Heart to Heart International…
DW HHI

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Welch Allyn Volunteer Team in Haiti (Part One)

One of the many great things about the people at Welch Allyn is… they get it.  The medical equipment manufacturer has a great relationship with Heart to Heart International that continues to grow, and you’ll find the company’s support across many of our programs and projects.
Recently, a five-member team of Welch Allyn employees traveled to the Caribbean on a Volunteer Service Trip (VST) to assist our Haiti Operations.  For a week, the team conducted training on donated equipment, provided direct patient care and even got sweaty and covered in paint putting finishing touches on a Heart to Heart clinic.
What follows is from a guest blog from Sue Mangicaro, RN, Director of Clinical Affairs at Welch Allyn, as she describes some of the team’s experiences as volunteers.
DW HHI

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Sue Mangicaro:  Today we worked at a clinic in Bel Air, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince, which is close to the former palace. I was struck by the progress and poverty in the region.
First the progress: When I first came to Haiti in January 2010, one month after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, and then a year later in February 2011, the area looked as though it was a war zone. So many homes and government buildings, including the palace, were destroyed and there was rubble everywhere. People were living in tents as far as the eye could see-not much had changed from January 2010 to February 2011.

During this 2013 trip, I immediately noticed a significant change on the drive to the clinic. Where the collapsed palace once stood, for a full year without any change, was now a clean open space. The tents that surrounded the palace for more than a year were now all gone. While there are still some tents scattered in the area, there is a significantly less than in 2011.

There were also drastic improvements made to the clinic in Bel Air. We once saw patients in makeshift exam areas, sometimes out in the open. We now have real exam rooms. And, where we used to dispense meds from a crude set up, they now have a small pharmacy. Finally, we previously had to send patients requiring blood work away, but now there is a small lab at the clinic to run tests.

Welch Allyn is donating equipment to the clinics here in Haiti. To make sure these clinics will get the most out of the devices, we have been training the Haitian triage nurse, the nurse manager and the Haitian family physician to use the Spot Vital Signs® Lxi that we left behind. The triage nurse was thrilled to have a device that could capture all the vital parameters she was currently capturing manually (with the exception of thermometry using a Braun ear thermometer) in such a short time.

After visiting the the clinic in the morning, we went to a nearby hospital that also has a teaching program for resident physicians. We met up with several ophthalmology residents and the chief resident, along with Dr. Frantz Codio, Heart to Heart’s Medical Logistics Director who coordinated the visit.
John Haberstock (in red in photo) trained the Haitian medical staff to use the iExaminer and they were thrilled to use the donated device.  I spoke to them about the value of acquiring vital signs, regardless of specialty, while Winsome Graham provided training on the donated Spot Lxi. Each resident physician wanted to use the products and were also very grateful for the donation to their program.

All in all, it was another great day in Haiti. The team commented on how quickly the week was going and how hard it is to believe it is our last day in clinic tomorrow. We head up to the mountains in Fondwa, about a three hour drive.  It will by my second trip to this clinic and I’m looking forward to the day!

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Look for Part Two soon as the team works construction and heads into the mountains, along with more photos of the volunteer team’s trip…
DW HHI