Description of the Project

Sante Total: Healthcare for Haiti’s Poorest

Sante Total (which means “Total Health” in Haitian Kreyol), an organization founded in 2009 by Tulane medical student Alison Smith with community leaders in Jacsonville, Haiti, with the vision to provide sustainable healthcare to rural communities in the Central Plateau region of the country.  The approach is to address the entire person- health, well-being, education, and employment, in order to eradicate the disease of poverty.With the collaboration of Gaby Thelus, a local community leader educated at Virginia Tech, Alison has worked since before her first year of medical school to bring relief workers, medication, and funding for other basic projects to the small highland town of Jacsonville, where Gaby returned after receiving his education in the United States. The organization’s goal from the beginning has been to build sustainable infrastructure in the town to meet basic standards of living, and to date has included the construction of a school, mission house, and sugar mill in addition to employing 12 educators for the village’s 400 children. In addition to this, students from both Tulane and LSU, with the assistance of physicians from around the country, collaborate in Medical Mission trips every three months to bring affordable healthcare to anyone in the area who seeks it. These medical teams can see one hundred patients per day, and relieve the incredible financial burden of going to the local hospital, at which locals must pay $40 to receive basic treatment, a cost the majority cannot afford. The current project however, is to construct a clinic to meet the needs of the people of Jacsonville and the surrounding areas. The organization hopes to finish construction on the clinic within the next two years and raise funds for the salary of a full-time nurse to care for patients and educate the population on basic sanitation and disease spread between the quarterly medical missions. In the long-term, by providing opportunities and infrastructure in a rural setting, these efforts may help to prevent urban migration and overpopulation in the capital, which ultimately makes these populations more vulnerable to natural disasters and the rapid spread of disease.


-2/4/2012: Clinic Progress

-1/9/2012: The foundation for the clinic is currently under construction! Now we need to raise funds for the roof

-March 26, 2011: We broke ground for the new primary care clinic to be built in Jacsonville!

-As of March 2011, we have received “incorporated” status in Louisiana and will become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization within 1 year! All donations can now be made directly to “Sante Total.”  Click on Help Out above to make on online donation.

-In January 2011, we received a 3 year grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help support a school clinic at St. Rose

-March, 2010: Earthquake Aftermath and Our Beginnings

It’s one thing to talk about humanitarianism, but the question always remains: is there action behind those words? In  March 2010, medical students and residents from Tulane University School of Medicine stood strong in its commitment to our fellow man, sending nine medical students and three doctors  into the chaotic aftermath of Haiti’s recent disaster. Tulane’s medical team saw an overwhelming 1,200 patients in six days, providing relief to people who struggle every day just to survive.  Given the extensive damage and loss of life following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that destroyed Port au Prince and the surrounding areas, the need to help Thelus and his community is far greater.  As Thelus describes the dire situation in Jacsonville: “What about the ones we [helped to flee] Port au Prince? Actually, Jacsonville is visually more crowded that before. They are all people who lost their asset[s] in the disaster. Some are in the hospital in Pignon [a neighboring town] and will remain handicapped for the rest of their lives. We cannot close our eyes on them.  A difficult situation is getting worse and we expect this is only the beginning.  The precious little resources available in Jacsonville were already spread extremely thin.  The suffering grows.”

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