story by INDRA SORIA
Communications & Fundraising Officer
Sometimes a helping hand reaches out at just the right moment.
In southeast Haiti, a young woman and her baby girl fell ill. Both needed to be seen by a doctor, but 18 year old Mélianne was struggling to find help for herself and Robancia, her seven month old child. Not knowing where to turn, Mélianne chose to take natural medicine to alleviate the illness. It didn’t work.
Weeks passed and the baby was fading, so too Mélianne. She did approach a clinic but the lines were long and the lab tests were just too expensive. So Mélianne continued to seek help from her mother, hoping that herbal remedies would work. Her condition, along with the child’s, worsened. The situation was dire and both likely would have perished had HHI’s community agents not come to her village and found them both in a critical condition.
These Multidisciplinary Community Agents are part of Kore Fanmi – a joint project between Heart to Heart International, the Government of Haiti and UNICEF. The overall job of the CHWs is to connect people living in the remote and rugged southeast of Haiti with existing community services, including health care. Most recently, these agents have been criss-crossing the mountains of southeast Haiti providing aid in border camps and educating communities about the arrival of the Zika virus.
On a recent community visit, agents discovered Mélianne and Robancia. Acting quickly, they brought both to a health clinic to be seen immediately by medical staff and arranged for the lab testing to be done for free.
Both mother and child were found to be suffering from severe malnutrition.
The clinic staff did a full check up and ran additional tests for tuberculosis and other infectious diseases that are common in Haiti. In addition, mother and child were put into a nutrition program.
The outcome for Mélianne and her baby would have been quite different had the agents not paid a visit to the village and found the mother and child in time.
HHI’s Multidisciplinary Community Agents in Haiti work every day to provide access to healthcare for mothers like Mélianne and so many others.
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