Many visitors from the US come down to help us out here in Haiti and we are very grateful for their service to us and to the communities and people we are trying to impact. They sacrifice a lot for us – time, energy, expertise, financial and other resources – and we appreciate it very much. We always hope that our visitors have a fulfilling time here and that they will continue to support us in prayer and, maybe, come back to serve with us again!
We had two visitors in September from North Carolina – attorney Elizabeth Brown and medical student/RN Liza Kessling. Elizabeth helped us write up an employee contract, as well as several policies and procedures for our administrative and financial systems in the clinic. We’re trying to set up rigorous systems that will provide good accountability no matter who sits behind the desk!
Elizabeth (right) and Liza (left) enjoy a light moment at the breakfast table.
Liza is trained as an RN and is now a third year medical student at Campbell University Osteopathic School of Medicine. This is a brand new, Christian-based school and hers is the first class of students. The school encourages its students to have global health experience and allows them to have a month-long overseas rotation in their third year of training. Liza has a heart for long-term missions and we’re hoping her heart leads her back here to Haiti! She studied some Creole before she came down and only needed to use a translator for the first week. After that, she was on her own with the patients and I had only to confirm the history and her findings and help decide on a plan for their care.
Liza interviews a patient, after which she will examine her and decide on a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Liza removes sutures from one of our iron workers
While Liza was here, we had a visit from another group of Johns Hopkins nursing students along with faculty member Dr. Nicole Warren. The students are helping us with our Census Project (see upcoming newsletter for more information) as well as our ongoing Water and Sanitation Project. During the week they were here, they helped us with a feedback session with the 20 census workers who conducted the house-to-house census for us this summer. The session included small group discussions that gave feedback on certain aspects of the project. Each census worker had a chance to speak and express their thoughts on the positive and negative aspects of the census-taking. Their insights were quite enlightening to us!
Census workers giving feedback in small group sessions
The Hopkins students also walked out to two distant communities where they held teaching sessions in the local schools. They were received warmly and the students greatly enjoyed learning the things they taught. Topics they covered included hypertension, diabetes and hygiene.
Nursing students do health teaching in a local Haitian school
While they were teaching the students, this little girl sat in the doorway looking on:
Little girl listens in to hear health teaching
The JH students also visited the two communities where we are starting to build latrines and they held educational sessions for the latrine recipients. These sessions emphasized proper use of a latrine, maintenance of the latrine and requirements of the homeowner in building it. Construction of the latrines has been delayed this summer by the need for repairs to the dump truck that took longer than expected. We’re in the middle of the rainy season right now but hope to begin the latrine building in December.
Hole dug by a latrine recipient in anticipation of building the latrine in his yard.
OUR CLINIC IS BUSY!
These past couple of months have been very busy in our clinic in Gatineau, as record numbers of patients have been coming to us for care. We are seeing between 45 and 55 patients daily and sometimes have to turn patients away. If you are a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant and would like to come work with us for a few months or years, please let us know!
There is standing room only as patients listen to Cherlie speaking to them before beginning patient consultations in our outpatient clinic in Gatineau.
An exciting event that is occurring right now is the installation of iron doors and windows in our second floor residence quarters. There were several thefts in the building this past spring which will now be prevented by these sturdy iron doors and windows. Thanks to the iron workers who built them and the masons who are installing them.
Masons installing one of the iron doors in the residence quarters
Cherlie stands with the iron workers who built the residence doors and windows. We trust they’ll make the building more secure.