Update - Long overdue

July 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Well Haiti Village Health has been busy in country, despite my lack of updates on the blog.

I returned to Haiti in May to follow our programs in Jacmel under the care of Dr. Mona Alexis. She continued her work with the Department of Health and with the refugee camp in the city. We continue to host medical teams doing mobile clinics in the region, and staying our our guest house in Jacmel.

I had the opportunity to work at JPHRO, Sean Penn’s refugee camp in Petionville. This camp has over 50,000 people living one huge tent cities. There are several small clinics on the grounds but JPHRO provides 24 hour emergency care to this population. It was a busy day at the clinic, including one woman who had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. JPHRO is well prepared with a referral network and she was rushed off shortly to a nenearby hospital.

On Mother’s Day, I enjoyed Partners in Health in a new mobile medical clinic van. Our day clinic was held downtown near the National Palace which had been demolished. I’m not sure of the number of patients seen but it was a long day. It was great to work alongside Haitian doctors and nurses and my Creole is definately improving.

In June, Namita Kumar joined Haiti Village Health as our new in-country manager. She will be supervising the programs in the Southern Region.

So, what are we up to now? As you know, initially our role had been in medical coordination. We still continue in this capacity in terms of facilitating information but we have narrowed our focus.

In 2009 I was approached by Pastor Bob Davisson regarding starting a medical clinic at one of his 52 schools in Southern Haiti. I did a few site assessments but unfortunately funding was not available at that time. We are still in need of funding, but we have volunteers and supplies, and will be opening a new medical clinic at his site. Our first medical team will be on the ground in late July and we hope to continue to host volunteers until the clinic can run independantly. This is similar to the prprogram we started in the north, but will be an accelerated version.

Earlier this year I was asked to sit on a working Committee with the US State Department regarding the mapping of Health Facilities in Haiti. This led to improved mapping through the organization Shoreland. Google’s site, Resource Finder, will be the public window to Health Facilities in Haiti. Haiti Village Health will be sending field workers out to teach local health care workers how to enter data directly to the database. Namita and our in-country tech guru Patrice Tellyrand will spearhead this project. MSPP (the Department of Health) gave the official go ahead last week and the site will launch shortly.

We have been working closely with the refugee camp in Jacmel, providing medication and supplies since the earthquake. We have assisted the camp leaders in attending meetings at the United Nations Cluster meetings so that their voice was heard in the decision making process. Together with Calvary Chapel, a Community Center will be built at the local camp. We will facilitate programs operating at the center.

We are currently working with three partner organizations to establish a country wide, emergency air transport service for Haiti. Jacmel is on the list as one of the fixed in country locations. Several volunteer pilots have been to the region and had meetings with the local airport authorities both in Jacmel and in the North. This service is desperately needed in Haiti as road conditions are so poor.

Since the earthquake, we have been involved with the storage and distribution of medical supplies in Jacmel. Currently, the supplies at the depot are limited but we expect a new shipment soon from Direct Relief International. The Aid Matrix Foundation will provide training to workers in inventory supply and management. Calvary Chapel will be constructing a new depot in August with climate control. We are looking for a partner for funding for this essential project to continue.

Our clinic is still operating in the North as it was pre-earthquake. Open five days per week. We also have community programs in worm distribution, prenatal and children’s vitamins, clean water and sanitation.

We had been busy in the early days post quake with coordination at the airport. Currently OCHA (the United Nations) and the Clinton Foundation are teaming up to encourage the registration of NGOs nationwide. We have been able to provide information to them, and to facilitate projects linking individuals to organizations.

So, how can you help now?
Haiti Village Health needs funding to continue our projects and to help with the construction of the new clinic in Chabin, and to continue with our support in the north.

We are also in need of volunteers, both medical and non medical to support our clinics in the north and south. For further information on volunteering, please email [email protected]

I will begin to provide regular updates on our projects, with photos as available.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Tiffany Keenan, MD
Founder & Director

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