September Medical Team Report September 24-30, 2010

Patrick Sweeney, first year medical student at Tulane, examines a young patient

A fourth medical relief team from Sante Total, an organization created to help build medical infrastructure in the Central Plateau of Haiti, spent September 24-30, 2010, treating patients in the Mission House in the village of Jacsonville. The team consisted of 2 attending physicians, Dr. Sue Rodgman, a General Practitioner from Canada, and Dr. Michelle Carley, an Emergency Medicine physician from Louisiana; 2 residents, Dr. Christopher Rodgman and Dr. Jarrell Meier, both of the Department of Psychiatry at Tulane University, and 6 medical students- Alison Smith, Gregg Kennedy, Kayla Bronder, Charlie Murphy, and Patrick Sweeney, all from Tulane University, and Annie Halsey from the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. Two additional team members were Lindsay Ordower, a former Teach for America volunteer in New Orleans, and Paula Smith, Executive Director of Birthright of Pittsburgh. Fr. Richard Mooney from St. Thomas More Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, also joined the group for the last two days after spending time visiting the village of Savanette.

During five clinic days that overlapped with a large religious holiday in nearby Pignon, over 500 patients were treated, including school children from St. Rose. De-worming medicine, vitamins, toothbrushes, and toothpaste were provided to all children. Dr. Monica Dhand, a third year Internal Medicine resident at Tulane, spent an additional two weeks working in Jacsonville out of the clinic in the Mission House. She treated almost 200 patients during this time and most importantly, provided some continuity of care to the residents of the village.

The group also spent an afternoon working in the community of Carrefour Feuilles, which is located in Port au Prince. The community was nearly devastated after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010. They have remained resilient despite receiving little aid. The medical team treated over 50 patients and provided de-worming medicine to over 50 children. The group also took in the ongoing destruction and numerous tent cities within the capital city of Haiti.

Since four medical relief efforts by Sante Total to Jacsonville commenced in February 2009, over 3,000 patients have received medical care. The needs of the community continue to grow as many patients now rely on the medical team’s support for many chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, mental illness, seizure disorders, diabetes, pain medicines for untreatable diseases like advanced stage cancers, and thyroid diseases. In addition, there are many patients who require surgery and appropriate arrangements need to be made to get them the required treatment.

Future efforts will be made in December 2010, March 2011, and June 2011. Assistance is needed with providing medicines and medical supplies to the community. Dental care is also a pressing need within the community. Sante Total has received a three year grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help run the school clinic at St. Rose School. In addition, the goal of establishing a permanent primary care clinic run by Haitian medical professionals in Jacsonville remains in the not too distant future.

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