The past few days have been pretty busy, so this week has really just flown by. On Tuesday I spent another day in the clinic, primarily shadowing Dr. Brinvert where once again he was an excellent teacher, explaining the ins and outs of a each case for me as well as his choice of treatment, all while making sure I thoroughly understand. Stephanie, one of the other students here, also assisted in the clinic by helping the agents santé with triage, which was very exciting for her as she is an aspiring nurse.
We finished up at the clinic at about noon and after lunch, stopped by the beach for a little bit to relax and cool off. On our way back, we noticed that the local committee of women in charge of cleaning up the shore in front of the guesthouse were at work so Cristine, Amanda, Stephanie and I decided to help them out with their efforts. This essentially involved picking up garbage and moving it over to an area where it could be burned as well as carrying buckets of rocks so that they could be used to make a barricade to prevent garbage from washing up on the shore as well separate the walking path from the beach. It was not the most pleasant task considering we were sprucing up an area where many people use the washroom but it was rewarding to see how much better it looked once it was finished.
Yesterday, instead of working in the clinic, the girls and I went on a trip to Cap Haitian to visit the Shada clinic, which was recently taken over by Haiti Village Health. It was interesting to see because the clinic was located in a very different environment than the Bod Me Limbe clinic. While Bod Me Limbe is a nice open beach area in a remote village, Shada is a very compact, slum-like neighborhood with a maze of close houses in the heart of the large city of Cap Haitian. The clinic itself was had only one doctor’s office and a small pharmacy but it clearly gets a lot of use which was evident from the packed waiting room. Later in the evening, just as I finished showering after returning from Cap, I was informed that we had a pregnancy taking place in the clinic. Unfortunately for me, although I’m sure the mother was relieved, the birth took place very quickly and the baby was already out and resting on the mother’s chest by the time I made by way over. It was a shame because I would have loved to have been able to witness the birthing experience as it is something I have never seen before.
Today I took part in my second prenatal outreach and Stephanie accompanied me as well. We went to a village that was just five minutes from ours and saw maybe about six or seven expectant mothers. Stephanie was in charge of taking the women’s blood pressure and weight as well as asking them whether or not they were experiencing fetal movement, contractions and swollen feet. For my part, I was responsible for measuring how far along the mothers were, feeling for the position of the baby and finding the fetal heartbeat. From there, Iranese, our nurse, and Joseanne, an agent santé, took care of urine and blood tests, as well as providing prenatal vitamins. Afterwards, Iranese gave the women an education session on breastfeeding and proper eating and nutrition practices. Following the outreach, we enjoyed spending the rest of the afternoon at the beach for some R&R. Later this evening, we had a boy come by who had cut his foot playing soccer and Stephanie and I got to watch Dr. Brinvert give him stiches, which was very cool!
That’s all to report for now, until next time!