Health Worker Training
HVH has been training a number of local women as health workers, locally known as Agence Santes, to assist with medical records, triage, lab and pharmacy needs so that there is less dependence upon expatriate personnel. At the request of the Sante Pou Yo Committee, these women were trained in basic first aid and wound care and were provided with a stock of supplies and basic medications to be utilized between medical team visits from overseas doctors.
HVH also trains women as midwives, keeping with Haitian culture of using traditional birthing assistants (TBAs) for childbirth.
It has been shown in many places that maternal and neonatal survival rates improve when traditional birth attendants are provided with training to improve their skills. HVH provides ongoing support to our local traditional birth attendants (TBAs) by sending them to monthly training programs in Cap Haitien where they are taught some basic techniques in hygiene, child birth, care of the newborn and nutritional support and prenatal care. The program is provided through the Kombit Sante and Cap Haitien Health Network.
In addition we have begun to provide training in infant resuscitation for TBAs, agence sante and our local medical team through a program called Helping Babies Breathe.
This program is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is designed to be adaptable to virtually any clinical situation. The curriculum was developed with support from the WHO and includes pictorial references and easy to follow algorithms for taking advantage of the “golden minute” after birth to save neonatal lives. The goal for this program is to make our centre a training site for the region providing vital knowledge to local community health workers, traditional birth attendants, nurses and doctors. This involves investment in training materials and resuscitation kits for use in the community. Our third staff educational need is for pharmacy training for our local pharmacy technician at the Haiti Hospital Appeal Program in Cap Haitien.