Newsletter: July-October 2014
Back to School in Haiti
All around the world it’s “Back to School” time. In Haiti’s Central Plateau, school children face numerous preventable health risks and a lack of access to basic healthcare. Many of their parents are unable to pay school fees and struggle to provide enough food to feed their families. Project Medishare continues to work with communities in the Central Plateau to ensure a bright future for the youth.
The Central Plateau region of Haiti has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the country. Malnourished children are more susceptible to disease and, as a result, less likely to perform well in school. Because of this, Project Medishare is set to launch a school nutrition program this year, which will provide healthy meals to children in schools and help give children in this area the best chance for a productive future.
Another of Project Medishare’s initiatives, the School Based Health Program, sends mobile teams of doctors and nursesto over 120 schools in the Central Plateau each year. Project Medishare treats approximately 24,000 children per year in this program alone.
As you prepare your own family and friends for the start of a productive school year, please consider making a donation to Project Medishare to support school children and their families:
- $15 pays for a student’s health education program
- $50 pays for a student’s school fees for the year
- $30 provides a student with a daily meal the entire school year
Your generous donation will help guarantee the continuation of these important programs for school children of the Central Plateau. Thank you in advance for helping to make sure that Haiti’s future is bright and its students are safe, full and healthy.
In recognition of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, Project Medishare is sharing reflections from patients in our cancer program at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This program opened in 2013 and has treated over 200 women with cancer. More than 120 women in the program are being treated, or were treated, specifically for breast cancer using surgical and chemotherapy interventions.
The cancer rate is currently unknown due to a lack of a national cancer registry; however, the need for treatment is clear as attested to by the testimonies of these women. Despite considerable challenges, these determined women continue to overcome obstacles in order to gain access to treatment.
The options for public and private cancer treatment in Haiti are limited. Project Medishare is collaborating with the Ministry of Health to develop and strengthen locally appropriate solutions to detect and treat breast cancer in Haiti. Medishare helps to provide low-cost chemotherapy to women in the public hospital in Port-au-Prince. We also provide training to the nursing staff and offer personal protective equipment so that chemotherapy can be administered safely.
The cost of treating a woman with cancer in our program, including surgery and chemotherapy, is only $1,500 per patient. Please consider making a donation so we can continue to expand our services to additional Haitian women seeking diagnosis and treatment.
See more on the program and patients’ stories here.
Training and Education Programs in Haiti
The training and education of Haitian medical staff is an integral part of Project Medishare’s mission. Medishare has a vision of a country made up of well-trained Haitian doctors, nurses, technicians and community health workers. Our programs in Haiti employ over 300 Haitian staff and less than ten expatriates.
From 2000 to today, Medishare staff across the Central Plateau attended trainings in community health. Since it’s inception in 2010, all Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBM) staff have been enrolled in at least one training program. In 2013, the Ministry of Health approved a new pediatric residency program and staff began training in ophthalmology and radiology for nearby hospitals.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
The 2010 earthquake devastated the health training program at Haiti’s State hospital and caused the death of an entire class of student nurses. Due to the earthquake, many medical and nursing students could not continue their education. In 2011, Project Medishare at HBM began training State and private medical school students in addition to the critical care and rehabilitation training of the existing 200 member staff.
Haitian medical and nursing students and surgical residents receive supervision, classes and access to patients and services at HBM. They attend trainings in ophthalmology, radiology, laboratory, ultrasound, critical care, surgery and EMS through funding from University of Miami, Project Medishare, the American Red Cross and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Project Medishare’s volunteer program brings medical personnel to Haiti from across the United States and Canada weekly to work alongside Haitian staff at HBM. These medical volunteers provide our Haitian staff with hands on training. Project Medishare has always believed that a “Train the Trainers” model is the most effective way to help Haitians help themselves. The goal is to build capacity and empower Haitians to create and sustain their own healthcare system by investing in the training, education and employment of local medical professionals.
From 2011-2013, dedicated students took classes in a back courtyard of the hospital with no screen, no air conditioning and few tables. With the assistance of the Boule Foundation, an unoccupied hospital across the street from Bernard Mevs was purchased and outfitted with classrooms to provide a conducive learning environment for the almost 60 students who are on site weekly.
The training and education programClinton Bush Haiti Fund continues to attract elite institutions and teachers. They donate their time and expertise to train Haitian students and existing hospital and community health staff.
Student Profile: Colbert Leon, Radiology
The Assistant Director of Radiology at Hospital Bernard Mevs is a graduate of a Radiology training program funded by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. The program not only provided his education in radiology, but his superior technical skills led him easily into the position of Assistant Director.
Colbert was a dedicated student and spent extra hours reviewing the methodologies provided by the course. At the end of Phase II of the program, his skill level was on par with that of the trainers. He is eager to teach the next course, explaining that “teaching is something when you give, you have more, because it also enhances my knowledge of radiology.” He hopes to continue his work in CT and X-Ray for many years to come.
Resident Profile: Frantzy Dieudonne
In Memory: Jerry McMonagle