Due to unrest in Haiti earlier this year, Haiti Foundation of Hope canceled its February and March medical teams. However, several Americans traveled to Terre Blanche in March to assist in hosting the ninth annual medical conference. Here is their story:
Imagine a small village in remote Haiti where homes are mostly mud huts. There is no electricity and clean water is found only at community wells. The road to the village is rocky and unpaved.
Imagine that for the past two weeks the country has been on lock- down with violent demonstrations. Fuel is in short supply and travel is difficult, to say the least.
However, on the day of the conference, we walked into the Terre Blanche church (where the conference was held) and were amazed to see the many Haitian professionals who had traveled to attend the training.
There were more than 250 people, many of them doctors and nurses, and more than half of them were student nurses. People came from as far away as Port-au-Prince, a trip that takes several hours.
Participants were introduced to the Clinic of Hope and referrals to the clinic were made. All of this provided a sense of pride for the clinic staff. Some participants asked to volunteer at the clinic.
Unlike in the United States, continuing medical education in Haiti is extremely limited. The conference included both Haitian and American presenters.
Dr. Emmanuel Mercier, the Medical Director at the Clinic of Hope, talked about tuberculosis, which is timely because the clinic will soon be opening a TB center.
After the conference, Dr. Mercier wrote, “With the medical conference many health professionals had the opportunity to meet each other and discuss together the latest achievements. The new protocols we have learned will help us to improve the care of the patients. … Not only Haitian professionals benefited from this conference, but also other foreign participants.”
We join our Haitians partners in celebrating this ongoing ministry!
Written by Linda Markee.