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|Berlinda Dumas receiving care by Dr. Steeve on January 13th|
March 25, 2010
We started the day with some of the Hope for Haiti public health team and the Carrefour clinic staff running a mobile clinic at Camp Villa located next to the Villa Creole Hotel. The camp has a little less than 200 people living on a tennis court. We have been working with the Villa Creole to provide tents, food, water, sanitation, and now medical care. The team treated 96 people before the day was done and will plan for a follow-up visit in two weeks. During the clinic, the team also took the time to give out vitamin packs and vitamin A.
|Berlinda Dumas with her baby sister on March 24th|
The highlight of the day came when Dr. Steeve brought a cute little girl to my attention. I had spoken to her earlier while she was getting her vitals taken with her baby sister and at the time she was just a rather healthy looking little girl of 7, tougher than she should have to be, but still with a bit of innocence. Dr. Steeve, fighting back emotion, informed me that she was one of the severely injured cases that we found upon arrival to the Villa Creole after the earthquake. She had been in her house when it collapsed around her leaving her terrified with severe head trauma that nearly took her life. We found this little one writhing in pain and shock from the terrible surprise Mother Nature had bestowed and after stabilizing her Dr. Steeve went to work trying to care for the deep lacerations to her head.
Today she is still alive and living in the IDP camp behind the Villa Creole along with almost 200 others. In the dark that night with head lamps Dr. Steeve and I set out with one thought, save as many as you can, in a sea of so many faces that now feel too hard to remember fate has given us a chance reminder and Berlinda Dumas and her mother were given a chance to say “Mesi.”
Mike Stewart, Country Director
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March 22, 2010
January’s earthquake did more than damage buildings, crush bodies, and destroy infrastructure-it profoundly impacted the hearts and minds of the Haitian people and drastically increased the need for mental health care and services.
The New York Times last week painted a dire picture of mental health institutions in post-quake Port-au-Prince, emphasizing the need to incorporate psychiatrics into the primary healthcare system throughout the country. Child psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Jones from one of our partner organizations, the International Medical Corps (IMC), is quoted in the article. IMC has chosen the Hope for Haiti Clinic at the Don Bosco Camp in Carrefour to centralize their weekly mental health training sessions, held each Thursday afternoon.
See her comments here: In Haiti, Mental Health System Is in Collapse.
Two weeks before the Times article, Hope for Haiti was addressing this issue at a workshop with Haitian mental health experts in Les Cayes. The group of local psychologists, social workers, educators, and counselors is called VAPS, the Volunteers for Psycho-Social Support, and their goal is to help individuals, families, and communities cope with the mental fallout of the quake. By conducting regular psychiatric consultations at local healthcare facilities, the group aids patients who lost limbs, parents who lost children, and families who’ve been torn apart. They’re also training teachers in local schools to identify post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and serve as role models for vulnerable students.
Our student nursing team from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania met with 8 VAPS members to learn their story, ask questions, share best practices, and brainstorm activities and options for collaboration. The 6 senior year nursing students and their professors, Dr. Patty Hannon and Dr. Corinna Dotter, learned how these Haitian professionals are selflessly applying their passion and skills to bring consolation to survivors and families in need. More importantly, they witnessed firsthand that although the aftershocks have stopped, the quake’s tremors continue to reverberate deeply in the national psyche.
Photos by: Lee Cohen
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March 15, 2010
The long-term stabilization and re-building process is in full swing. Things have moved from managing the acute trauma to implementing long-term plans. While the tempo has not slowed it has now become a long distance race that is just as critical.
In the first four weeks following the earthquake, Hope for Haiti moved 193 tons of medical supplies flown in from the United States, which does not include the significant amount of critical supplies it moved between organizations on the ground. In addition, Hope for Haiti continues to support its ongoing education, nutrition and healthcare programs throughout the southern peninsula.
By working to get these programs up and running again the organization will be providing additional employment opportunities to teachers and healthcare workers in public works to support the efforts of two IDP camps in Carrefour. In addition the re-building process will help generate construction jobs, work teams and support for our on-going programs, particularly our education program, which will provide children with some semblance of structure when the schools are successfully re-opened. All of this will help bring Haiti back to its feet.
Pictured below is one of Hope for Haiti’s Public Health teams supporting the Don Bosco IDP camp in Carrefour, just outside Port-au-Prince.
March 10, 2010
The Firehouse Subs Company donated approximately 90,000 pounds of rice and beans to Hope for Haiti’s emergency relief effort for distribution in the first few weeks following the January 12th earthquake. The Hope for Haiti team distributed the food to the 9,000 people living within the Don Bosco internally displaced persons camp (IDP) in Carrefour. After a week and a half of nothing more than the occasional “Meal Ready to Eat” (MRE), the rice and beans did a tremendous amount to both boost morale and to feed thousands of hungry bellies. The Firehouse Subs team furthered their commitment by traveling to Haiti to volunteer and see first-hand the impact of their donation. While on the ground, they saw how food is distributed and lent a hand in the daily operations of the ongoing aid initiative. From moving trucks full of water storage tanks, to the delivery of walkers and canes, the team was not shy about getting their hands dirty.
It’s not every day that a donor gets the opportunity to see-up close and personal-how their donation impacts the people of Haiti. But the Firehouse Subs team took the time to see their donation through, and the thousands of smiling faces of the children who greeted them clearly validated their efforts. Thank you Firehouse Subs!
We work to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children.