Chw plesimond falios leads a community meeting 

AmeriCares Partnership in Action

In partnership with AmeriCares, Hope for Haiti is helping people in rural Haiti recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  This disaster took us all by surprise and required coordination with our long-time partners on the ground.  With cholera an ongoing threat to livelihoods and food insecurity rising, Hope for Haiti turned to partner AmeriCares for immediate help.

CHW Plesimond Falios leads a community meeting Morency community members read about cholera prevention.
CHW Plesimond Falios leads a community meeting
on ways to treat and prevent cholera.
Morency community members read about cholera prevention.

For over 24 years, Hope for Haiti has had a special partnership with AmeriCares.  It all began when Hope for Haiti’s Founder and Chair, JoAnne M. Kuehner, DM, travelled to Haiti as a member of the AmeriCares board.  Under the tutelage of AmeriCares’ founder, the late Bob Macauley, JoAnne saw first-hand the incredible work of AmeriCares in Haiti and was compelled to make a lasting difference.  The birth of Hope for Haiti and its development over the last two decades was made possible because of the passion and commitment of our partners and visionaries.

We have seen how, together, we can accomplish so much more. We have depended on our colleagues at AmeriCares in the most challenging of times.  This year has been no exception.  AmeriCares’ gifts in-kind to Hope for Haiti have totaled more than $65,000 in value over the last year.  Supplies such as water jugs, oral rehydration salts, hand sanitizer, water purification tablets, and other hygiene products to help prevent the spread of cholera were directly distributed in communities, in addition to Hope for Haiti Survival Buckets containing enough food, candles, matches, soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste for a family of five in the wake of a disaster.

Most recently, Hope for Haiti received an emergency grant to purchase food for our Survival Buckets.  The timeliness of this grant was paramount, as Hope for Haiti was completely out of food in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  These buckets will be distributed to program partners and communities in the south where the hurricane hit with a vengeance, damaging roads, homes and livelihoods. A portion of the Buckets will remain in the Hope for Haiti depot prepositioned to respond to any emergencies that may happen in the future.

“It is important to let people know that you see a rise in diseases like cholera after hurricanes.  People need to understand how and why they need to prevent cholera.  That is what we do,” says Community Health Worker (CHW) Plesimond Falios.  Using knowledge acquired through monthly trainings, Hope for Haiti’s CHWs, like Plesimond, educate their local communities on topics such as hygiene, nutrition, and disease prevention.

Program Assistant Arianne Pingledis explains the importance of handwashing. Program Assistant Liz Warren distributes emergency buckets and ORS to a community member
Program Assistant Arianne Pingledis explains the importance of handwashing. Program Assistant Liz Warren distributes emergency buckets and ORS to a community member.

AmeriCares supplies aid in cholera prevention, but also provide relief in the aftermath of an outbreak and improve the day-to-day lives of people in the community. “The water jugs are important,” says the director of Morency Primary School.  “Families can use them to keep some good water in the house, and use it to cook their rice.”

Hope for Haiti’s partnership with AmeriCares continues to connect, heal, and empower families as it has from the beginning, more than 20 years ago.  While cholera continues to claim lives throughout Haiti, especially after storms and other natural disasters, partnerships like this one, allow for a more coordinated and effective response  A well-rounded intervention program, which focuses on both treatment and prevention, will help us win the fight against cholera in rural Haitian communities.

Young patients who received dental education by hope for haiti volunteer dr. dupervil. 

Hope for Haiti Celebrates World Diabetes Day with Medical Outreach

Jennifer Lang, Program Manager – November 26, 2012

Hope for Haiti’s Infirmary Saint Etienne in Les Cayes, Haiti marked World Diabetes Day by performing medical outreach throughout the month of November. Diabetic care is a growing specialization at the Infirmary thanks in part to support from our partner AmeriCares. The Chronic Care Program, piloted last year, provides patients suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and asthma with medications, specialized laboratory testing, wound care, and follow-up for over 350 annual consultations.

Young patients who received Dental education by Hope for Haiti volunteer Dr. Dupervil. Dr. Larco with FHADIMAC and ISE's leadership teams.
Young patients who received Dental education by Hope for Haiti volunteer Dr. Dupervil. Dr. Larco with FHADIMAC and ISE’s leadership teams.

Still, many diabetic patients at the Infirmary continue suffering from complications as a result of this chronic disease. To help encourage clinical improvement, the Infirmary staff plans to launch an educational preventative curriculum and support group for patients this year. In support of this exciting initiative, Healthcare Director Dr. Steeve Victor and Infirmary Director Dr. Elmide Nazaire benefitted from a comprehensive training at the Friedman Diabetes Institute of Beth Israel Hospital in New York City this fall.

In a new partnership with FHADIMAC, the Haitian Foundation for Diabetes and Cardio-Vascular Diseases, the Infirmary’s doctors and nurses as well as visiting medical professionals from the public General Hospital of Les Cayes received a specialized training on advanced techniques. Topics covered at the staff training included proper insulin injection, nutritional and physical therapy, as well as treatment differences between Types 1 and 2 of diabetes. FHADIMAC also performed extensive screening throughout Haiti in honor of the November 5th holiday.

The FHADIMAC training featured professionals from MSPP General Hospital & Infirmary Saint Etienne. Ecole Normale student posing with malaria prevention poster.
The FHADIMAC training featured professionals from MSPP General Hospital & Infirmary Saint Etienne. Ecole Normale student posing with malaria prevention poster.

Many of the Infirmary’s staff members also chose to support the Les Cayes chapter of Rotary International by volunteering at a medical outreach fair. Remarked Healthcare Director Dr. Steeve Victor, the fair, which screened close to 1,000 people for diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, and glaucoma, “was a great idea. Educating the public is part of our job at the Infirmary, and its important to spread the right information.” Preventative education was provided on the causes of both diabetes and hypertension, as well as other subjects such as dental care, hygiene and cholera, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Hope for Haiti supported our staff volunteers with dental educational posters and donated in-kind supplies courtesy of AmeriCares.

Care of diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic diseases remains a pressing problem in Haiti. Thanks to our partnerships with FHADIMAC, Rotary International, and AmeriCares, Hope for Haiti is working to screen, treat, and prevent chronic diseases like diabetes. We are honored to have been selected to present our holistic treatment model at the 2013 Unite for Sight Global Health Conference at Yale University this spring – hope to see you there!