Lab Training in Papua New Guinea

The Lemacot Health Center laboratory on the Papua New Guinea island of New Ireland had closed several years ago due to a lack of funding.  Now it’s opening again, health workers are being trained, and residents of this remote island in the Pacific Ocean have better access to healthcare.

PNG kid

(Ed. note) For several years, Heart to Heart International has worked in Haiti with corporate partner BD to develop and strengthen laboratory services in both urban and rural communities and to provide healthcare worker training through BD’s Volunteer Service Trip program. Now, drawing on that experience and fostering new partner relationships, we’ve replicated the training program on the other side of the world – Papua New Guinea.

Working with BD and the organization Australian Doctors International, we developed a one week laboratory training program to teach the World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory Standards to lab managers on New Ireland (map).  The lessons include projects the laboratorians can take home and implement within a few weeks or months to increase the accuracy and consistency of laboratory testing.  This results in better patient diagnosis and treatment no matter the remote and rustic locations in which these lab managers work.

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The Lemacot Health Center serves 16,813 people within a 4 hour walk.  Lemacot nurses go into the countryside in order for people to access services no more than 10 minutes from home.  The nurses deliver more than 400 babies a year and track vaccinations for all the children in their coverage area.  Lemacot treats TB patients, HIV patients, trauma as well as general medicine.  Nurses, midwives, community health workers and health officers serve the local population – all without a physician.

PNG clinic

Lemacot Head Nurse, Sister Kathy, told us she could only attend the first and last day of our laboratory training.  We were pleasantly surprised when she came the next day and said she’d be there all week. She told the class that she had been working with her nursing staff to standardize practice in the health center.  As it turns out, the class we had taught on the first day was on the importance of SOP’s – Standardized Operating Procedures.  She said it rang true with her.

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She told us that she needs to encourage her staff to write and follow standardized procedures, knowing it’s key to consistent good nursing care.  It is all about the patient and this is the way to be sure patients receive the best care possible.

PNG cert

We went to Papua New Guinea to improve laboratory science on the island of New Ireland and it looks as though our lessons will spread beyond the confines of the laboratory and into general healthcare.  If our efforts result in improved, consistent patient care in multiple areas – it’s more than we could have hoped for.

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Learn more about our Lab and Clinic services.

 

 

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!

HHI and AAFPF Team Up For Training

Heart to Heart International recently hosted a delegation to Haiti from the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation. The week-long trip was part of its Family Medicine Cares International (FMCI) program, and was divided into three components: Patient Care, Service Projects & Medical Education.

The Medical Education team held two symposiums across Haiti to provide specialized continuing education for Haitian doctors and healthcare providers. Their topic focused on cardiovascular disease.

Newspaper ArticleOne of those locations was in the historic city of Cap Haitien, on the country’s north coast. The symposium in Cap Haitien was documented by a journalist from the French-language Le Nouvelliste, Haiti’s oldest and largest daily newspaper.
Click the screengrab to the left to see the original article and to read it in French.
Or look below to read the article translated directly into English.

FOR A SURVEY OF THE LEVEL OF HEALTH IN HAITI
Le Nouvelliste | Publié le : 2013-02-06
by: Daphney Valsaint Malandre

Cap Haitien, Haiti — While the final preparations for organizing the carnival takes place in a city of Cap-Haïtien boosted, a group of Haitian and foreign doctors met at the training center of the Justinian Hospital for a symposium Monday, February 4, 2013 .

This activity falls within the framework of a project resulting from the agreement between Dr. Andre Vulcain, the “Project Haiti”, the American Academy of Family Physicians and Heart to Heart International. This project aims primarily to raise the level of health in Haiti while focusing on family medicine. Dr. Andre Vulcain, Haitian doctor, trained in Haiti but who have a specialization in family medicine at the University of Miami, working for the “Haiti Project”, a project of the School of Medicine of the University of Miami that supports Justinian Hospital for nearly 12 years.

Dr. Vulcan returns to Cap-Haitien regularly to provide support for training family physicians can take care of most health problems that may be present in a population. The “Haiti Project” has also helped the hospital develop a service family physicians and to develop a program of support for PV / HIV and a physical rehabilitation program. Their main goal is to assist existing entities and help them to build their capacity. To do this, they are backed by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the NGO Heart to Heart International.

The mission of the American Academy of Family Physicians in Haiti spans three phases. The organization of the Cap-Haitien symposium on cardiovascular disease in partnership with Dr Vulcan is the first. A second symposium will be held in Port-au-Prince Thursday, February 7. Meanwhile, a part of the team providing care to the needy in the area of Leogane while another is actively working in clinics and orphanages in neighborhoods like Bel Air.

Haiti has not been the first country to benefit from the assistance of these practitioners from the United States. These have indeed worked in many other underdeveloped countries. Heart to Heart International, a nongovernmental organization based in the United States, meanwhile, already working in Haiti for five years. The organization has shown, among others, has enough on Haitian soil immediately after the earthquake of 12 January 2010. At that time, there was talk of bringing first aid and provide necessary equipment. This time around, she wants to launch a new program that has already been proven in several Soviet countries for twenty years.

Heart to Heart International has already set up a permanent office in Haiti and several clinics in areas such as Leogane, Bel-Air and the south-east. A staff of about forty Haitians supported by foreign doctors ensure the proper functioning of these clinics. The organization is not only combined with other entities such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, but also with the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) to help Haitian doctors to become specialists in family medicine and increase the level of education of nurses.
These symposia which is attended by representatives of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Heart to Heart International and Dr. Andre Vulcain are in fact the beginnings of a project should extend the long term.