Sante Total Medical Relief Trip Report: June 12-22, 2010

A group of 14 medical students, physicians, and a Physician’s Assistant from Tulane University traveled to Jacsonville in June for 5 days to work with the community on continuing to develop local healthcare projects. Over 500 patients were treated in a clinic run out of the mission house in Jacsonville and in mobile clinics in the nearby communities of Bohoc and Fontaine. In total, over 2,500 patients in Jacsonville and surrounding communities have received medical care from Tulane School of Medicine teams since February 2009.

Many severely-ill people with chronic medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and psychiatric diseases were started on medicines. Follow-up of these patients will be made during the next site visit by the medical team in September. Several critical patients were taken to Hospital Bienfaissance in Pignon for further medical care. Without the intervention of the medical team, they would have been denied treatment at the hospital based on their socioeconomic status.

School children from St. Rose were treated with de-worming medicine, vitamins, and were given toothbrushes and toothpaste. Plans for the incorporation of teaching good hygiene and health habits into the school curriculum were also discussed.

Four of the trip members spent three days in Port au Prince working at the Rose-mina de Diegue Orphanage in Petion-ville. Physical exams and medical treatment of over 60 children at the orphanage were performed. Over 100 patients were also treated at a mountaintop clinic run by the orphanage.

The situation in Port au Prince following the earthquake is not improving. Millions of people are living in tents with no basic sanitation. Food and other necessities are scarce. Most medical relief operations have closed. The presence of foreign aid is extremely minimal. Project Medishare run by University of Miami is continuing to treat patients in a permanent hospital.

In late June, Dr. Alex Larsen, the Haitian Minister of Health and his delegation, visited New Orleans. Several trip members had the opportunity to talk with him regarding the medical project in Jacsonville. He applauded the efforts and pleaded on-going support for future efforts.

Discussions with Haiti CSR are on-going regarding the start of a permanent medical clinic in Jacsonville. The first step will be to provide medical supplies to the school clinic at St. Rose de Lima and to support Nurse Ketheline in her efforts to work at the school clinic on a weekly basis. Grants are currently being applied for in the US to support this project.

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