Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seasons Greetings From Project HOPE

As part of the Project HOPE family, we’d like to wish you a warm and joyous holiday season. Thanks to your continued support and contributions, we have been able to achieve another year of lifesaving health care missions all around the world. We are truly grateful to be part of an organization that has so many extraordinary supporters!

Also, please take a few minutes to check out our new Web Site. Our recent redesign now includes hosting our blogs on our site.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Saving Lives in Haiti

The second rotation of Project HOPE volunteer medical personnel has just returned from Haiti after spending up to three weeks in Hôpital Albert Schweitzer fighting that country's cholera outbreak. The six nurses and one doctor worked every day on the cholera ward. The hospital, which is located in Haiti's Artibonite River Valley, is at the epicenter of the outbreak.

The largest proportion of Haiti's cases are from that region, and this team arrived just after Hurricane Tomas stirred up the water sources and brought cholera to a large percentage of the population. Below are some of the experiences they had while there:

Nurses Katie D'Entremont, Aislinn Mangan, and Cheri Hoffman were working the night shift when a very sick boy arrived. The boy was severely dehydrated from cholera, plus was suffering from severe asthma. His airway was almost closed off, and his blood oxygen levels were very low. No one was available from the pharmacy to dispense medications that could help, so the nurses scoured the hospital to find the appropriate drugs. The steroids and airway dilators were found on the Pediatric ward, and the boy was stabilized thanks to their efforts.

Susan Hall, RN had worked a long day shift on the cholera ward and was relaxing one evening. She heard that there was a very sick patient who had arrived who needed IV access for fluids. No one on the ward had been able to obtain access, so Susan ran back to the ward to help. Using the skills acquired after years of cardiac surgery experience, she was able to quickly cannulate a vein so that the patient could get the resuscitative fluids she needed.

Micaela Root, RN, a first time HOPE volunteer, had only four hours notice that she would be going to Haiti! She quickly got her affairs in order, obtained the time off from work, and ran to catch her plane. Micaela was an invaluable member of the nursing team while there, working nonstop to change IV fluids in a timely manner, flush clotted IVs, and assist in resuscitations.

Steven Gardner, MD and Cherri Dobson, RN worked together to save one patient who was discovered in hypovolemic shock. The patient was unresponsive, without palpable pulses, and had a heart rate of 30. Cherri, who was not at work at the time, was summoned when the staff was unable to place an IV. She ran over from the library and was able to place an effective IV in the patient. Meanwhile, Dr. Gardner put a catheter in the femoral vein and was manually holding it in place while fluids were pumped in. The patient survived and was walking around the next day.

Those were just some of the many experiences had by the HOPE team during their stay at HAS. Cholera is a devastating disease, but it is very curable if the medical and nursing teams work efficiently to provide rapid fluid resuscitation. All the volunteers had a very rewarding time at HAS, and all were tired but happy to return home after their rotation was over.

Story submitted by Project HOPE volunteer Cherri Dobson, a critical care nurse from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. Cherri recently returned from Haiti, her fourth volunteer mission for Project HOPE.

Monday, December 6, 2010

HOPE offers Diabetes Holiday Cooking Class in rural New Mexico

“Getting through the Holidays on a Healthy Note!”

Project HOPE New Mexico in collaboration with our partners, New Mexico Department of Public Health (NMDOH), Luna County Health Council, PMS Deming Health Center and the Luna County Extension Office, hosted a diabetes cooking class to help educate residents on how to prepare a diabetes-friendly holiday meal.

With all the traditional sweet foods and holiday gatherings, the holiday season can be challenging for people with diabetes and their families. The goal of the HABITS for Life program is to educate and offer alternative strategies for eating healthy. HOPE and its partners realized the need for offering a class that can get people “Through the Holidays on a Healthy Note” and worked together to coordinate this event.

Residents, partners and HOPE representatives gathered around the kitchen for the diabetes cooking class and also had an open discussion about managing Holiday stress at Bethel Baptist Church in Deming, New Mexico on December 3rd. Men and women were taught how to make lasagna, salad and a traditional Mexican bread pudding known as capirotada, using healthy options.

The event was extremely successful and appreciated by those individuals who attended. One male resident said, “This is such an important class because being a care giver for my wife who has Type 1 diabetes, ….. I ran out of ideas of things to make my wife. I cook for her every single day, all meals and this was delicious…. I am so glad that I came.”

Story and photos submitted by Trudy Gallegos BCH, MA. Trudy is Project HOPE's Health Educator and Outreach Supervisor for our new Habits for Life program in New Mexico.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Volunteers Visit Orphanage

While in Haiti, the HOPE team has befriended one of their local Haitian drivers, an amazing and gentle man named Val Franklin. Val runs an orphanage for 51 children ranging from age two to high school age. The orphanage is in a little town called Bongnotte just outside of Leogane one of the hardest hit areas during the January 12th earthquake here in Haiti.

The orphanage is called Val’s Children’s Home Care. The building that used to be the orphanage was destroyed during the earthquake but thankfully none of the children or staff were injured. The orphanage not only provides the necessities for living such as food, clothing and shelter for these 51 children but the orphanage also has a school attached to it that educates over 300 children from surrounding areas. The original idea for the orphanage came to Val during a time of great adversity. During the elections in Haiti in the mid 1980’s Val was driving for a team of journalists when he was shot four times. He made an internal promise that if his life was spared and he were to walk again he would dedicate his life to children in need. The doors of the orphanage opened in 1988 and a dedicated woman named “Aunt” Imma has lived and worked at the orphanage caring for these children ever since. In order to support the orphanage Val has driven a car and taxi service ever since its inception.

While there the HOPE team had the great pleasure of listening to all the children sing a hand washing song that Val had taught them. The song was led by one of their schoolteachers who had grown up in Val’s orphanage and stayed in the village to teach. These children were happy and smiling and engaging despite all that they have been through. Val is an example of what’s great about Haiti. He loves his people, he loves his country and he wants to see the children of Haiti thrive. He has long-term goals of rebuilding the orphanage and rebuilding their school. Goals that these HOPE volunteers want to help him achieve. After a couple of weeks of being witness to the devastation the cholera epidemic has rained upon the youth of Haiti it was so refreshing to see the smiling faces at Val’s Children’s Home Care – smiling faces we will not soon forget!

Photos and story submitted by HOPE volunteer, Carrie Alexander, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Johns Hopkins MPH student.

HOPE for Kids with Cancer

As my visit to Shanghai comes to an end, one of my lasting impressions will be the faces of the children. Behind their heart-melting smiles are the hopes and dreams for the future of this amazing country. And Project HOPE is making sure China’s future is healthy and bright.

I was startled to hear that 30 percent of children with cancer in China do not seek appropriate follow-up care. Even worse, 40 percent of children with cancer never receive care.

Project HOPE, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, Hospira and other partners are diligently working to change those numbers, as well as alleviate the suffering and save the lives of children.
Why am I optimistic? Just as Project HOPE, SCMC and multiple corporate and private partners developed the hospital into the world’s #1 center for pediatric heart surgery in less than 12 years, we expect the same results for the enhanced oncology program as well.

As I mentioned earlier this week, the new Oncology Tower at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center will more than double the number of beds available to care for children with cancer.

In addition, the Shanghai City Government recently approved the addition of a new facility that will house 500 general medicine beds that will literally double the size of the hospital and provide more opportunities for care for the children of China.

The new Oncology Tower and the new general medicine hospital building also will include facilities and technology to educate and train even more doctors and nurses from around China. Project HOPE will direct many of the training programs that will ultimately enhance the delivery of care and improve the health of children in urban and rural areas across China.

It’s a daunting task, but one that Project HOPE, SCMC and its partners are up to. When it comes to the health of China’s and the world’s children, Project HOPE is ready to take action.

Story by Rand Walton, HOPE's Director of Strategic Communications, now in China for the groundbreaking of the new Oncology Tower at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Providing Immediate Care and Building for the Future

Cholera Experts Visit HOPE Volunteers

After several days on the road the ICDDR,B Project HOPE team flew out of Cap Haitien on the Northern coast of Haiti back to Port Au Prince only to turn right around and make the trip by car into the Artibonite Valley where cholera first appeared in Haiti. The first stop on their trip was to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS), a long-standing partner of Project HOPE’s since the January earthquake.

Since the earthquake Project HOPE has supplied volunteer doctors, nurses and physical therapists to HAS to support the Haitian staff there. In the wake of the earthquake and now with the cholera epidemic, like many other hospitals in Haiti, HAS has seen their census rise requiring an augmentation of staff. The team was met by nurse Jill Caporiccio, a long-term HOPE volunteer now working at HAS from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mrs. LeGrand Mellon and other staff. The team spent the day touring the facilities at HAS and assessing their cholera ward. In contrast to some of the other sites visited by the team the cholera ward at HAS was well staffed, seemed to have a good supply of required cholera related items due to a recent resupply by Project HOPE, and seemed to have good systems in place to handle their cholera census. The ICDDR,B team was able to collect some cholera samples, which will be added to the cholera samples they procured at other sites and will be sent back to the national lab in Port Au Prince for culture and sensitivity.

While at HAS it was suggested by local staff that the team go a short distance down the road to the town of Verettes where there is another cholera treatment center (CTC) being run by International Medical Corps (IMC). There the team was able to collect more samples to add to their database of samples to go to the national lab. While at the IMC CTC the ICDDR,B team nurses were able to do some bedside hands-on training for the nurses on the ward imparting important information about the appropriate triage and treatment of the most fragile of cholera patients. The team has found this mode of training, the hands on at the bedside approach, is the most powerful of training tools. One they hope to help replicate at numerous levels in Haiti both at the institutional level and at the academic level having it added to nursing and medical curriculum.

Photos and story submitted by HOPE volunteer, Carrie Alexander, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Johns Hopkins MPH student.

Construction of Rehab Buildings Brings Work, Comfort and HOPE

While reports of post-election frustrations and violence fill the news, Project HOPE continues to build a Rehabilitation Center in southern Haiti. U.S. volunteers are training Haitians to construct the modular buildings to help build local skills and capacity and provide needed income as the buildings go up. Local residents gather daily to see the walls rise on the three buildings that will provide needed rehabilitation services over the coming months and years.

Eddy, 33, and a construction trainee, says this is the first time he has worked with prefabricated, foam core materials. He appreciates the opportunity to develop new skills. "I love it. I want to put all my strength into learning this new approach to building."

He adds, "Even though I was not physically harmed in the earthquake, I was harmed emotionally. Now when I walk into a building I automatically go to the corner. I like the idea of this type of building because I feel safe." He also points out that when the people stay at the Center in short-term housing while being fitted for prosthetics, they will feel safe and not be afraid of another collapse.

This fear of concrete structures, and a need for rapid construction, prompted HOPE to choose the modular design for the Rehab Center which will include a clinic, a dormitory building for patients and a housing building for volunteers.

Near the Rehab Center is a camp of people living in tents. One million people lost their homes in the earthquake. The camp school is run by a teacher who is an amputee. The school has no table for children to do their work; instead they lean on seat chairs to write their lessons. Mike, the lead builder, made a table for the school. The kids and moms cheered when he was finished. Now they have a place to do their school work– and to eat their lunch.

Report and photos by Bonnie Hudlet, HOPE photographer.

World AIDS Day China

Many advances in medicine to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide and to improve care to patients have been made over the past several years. However, there is still more work to be done.

On World AIDS Day, I’m reminded of that work as I read the headline of the Shanghai Daily: “AIDS kills 68,000 in China in just a year.” The loss of life and suffering caused by HIV/AIDS is sobering and regrettable.

However, while in China this week, I am reminded of the work Project HOPE has performed in this country with the support of global companies such as Abbott, Pfizer and others to help people with HIV/AIDS.

During 2002 in Central China, improper plasma donation transmitted HIV to more than 250,000 rural farmers. With the assistance of our corporate partners and the leadership of China’s leading HIV/AIDS expert, Dr. Gui Xi’en, Project HOPE launched a training program in Hubei Province to introduce antiretrovirals as part of the treatment regimen.

Project HOPE trained 78 “master” trainers who then trained more than 8,700 doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians on how to incorporate the antiretrovirals into patient care.

The training was invaluable and lifesaving. Between 2002 and 2006, deaths among the HIV patients in Hubei Province dropped 72 percent. Read More from Health Affairs.

Innovative approaches like Project HOPE initiated in China, combined with the tremendous work of our NGO colleagues and continued advances in medicine will make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Story by Rand Walton, HOPE's Director of Strategic Communications, now in China for the groundbreaking of the new Oncology Tower at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Another Haiti is Possible"

Today the Project HOPE and The Humanitarian Network team began putting together the dorm building that will house volunteers who come to Haiti to help with HOPE’s physical rehabilitation program. The building is going up next to a small tent “town.”

I had the opportunity to speak to Joseph Charles, 21, a Haitian who has been working on the building site as an interpreter and site manager. I asked Joseph what it has meant to him to work on this project.

“I can't wait to get up in the morning to get to the site,” he told me. “Sometimes I wake up at midnight and look at the clock wishing it was time to start working.”

Working on the building team is helping him see a path to Haiti’s recovery. “I realize that you [Mike, Ron, Bonnie] really, really care about what you are doing. Most NGOs just come and spend money, but not work on projects,” he says. “Maybe you are all sons of God. You are all blessed and you do things differently. I keep thinking about [how you make] every detail very important. It is very rare to find people like this and I will do my best to be part of the team.”

You see, Joseph wants to make a difference in his native land. “I want to help as much as possible to make a new Haiti,” he says. With a lot of hard work, and a little help from others, Joseph is confident, “another Haiti is possible.”

Story and photos by Bonnie Hudlet, HOPE photographer.

Groundbreaking for Pediatric Oncology Tower

Rain could not dampen the spirits of the hundreds who gathered today at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center to witness the ground breaking for a new 148-bed Oncology Tower.

The lifesaving care and resources the new tower will bring are greatly needed. Last year, the doctors and nurses at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center admitted and cared for more than 2,400 children with cancer. In addition, another 21,285 children with cancer were treated through the hospital on an outpatient basis.

The new seven-story Oncology Tower more than doubles the number of beds the Medical Center currently dedicates to cancer patients. Also, the new tower, which will be completed by 2012, will house research facilities to investigate new treatments and processes for improving care to children.

And thanks to a $1 million grant from Project HOPE partner Hospira, health professional training and the development of a palliative care program will begin immediately. A relatively new concept in China, palliative care will bring much needed physical and emotional support to children and their families addressing the tough challenges associated with cancer and its treatments.

Stuart Myers, Senior Vice President for Global Health at Project HOPE, said it best, “Despite the rain today, this is a bright day for the children of China.”

Story and photos by Rand Walton, HOPE's Director of Strategic Communications, now in China for the groundbreaking of the new Oncology Tower at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Life, Death, Education and Thanksgiving in Haiti

Team Saves More Lives, Witnesses Death and Provides Lifesaving Education

The ICDDR,B and Project HOPE team spent a long evening and into the night helping the local Haitian staff here in Milot care for the most critically ill cholera patients. Late in the evening the team was called to the cholera unit to help start an IV on a young child and they were successful. While there on the unit they did rounds on some of other critically ill patients only to realize an older gentleman had died due to cholera complications just prior to their arrival. Another patient while being rapidly rehydrated was diagnosed as having complications due to hypoglycemia. The team flew into action. Another American nurse volunteering here at Hôpital Sacre Coeur was able to find a glucometer to test the blood and indeed the patient was severely hypoglycemic. One of the nurses from the ICDDR.B team, Catherine Costa BSN, MPH, had thought to bring dextrose solution with her on the long journey from Bangladesh – a precious resource here in Haiti. She was able to infuse this life saving treatment and the patient is now doing well. One of the other patients the team intervened with was not so lucky and died early the following morning.

After this long evening of hands on care the team split into three groups. One group went a short distance to Cap Haitien to meet with the medical director there. Another group went to Hôpital Sacre Coeur to help with ten recent cholera admissions to the hospital. And yet another went to a nearby church to do a training session with several local schools.

The new admissions at the hospital included ten developmentally disabled children and one disabled adult from the Missionaries of the Poor orphanage and home in Cap Haitien. The Missionaries of the Poor is a Catholic organization that runs homes throughout the world for the poor and for orphaned disabled children, adults and the elderly. Brother Henry, one of the brothers from the Missionaries of the Poor who had accompanied the sick children from the orphanage was able to have a portion of the ICDDR,B team visit the orphanage to try to diagnose the source of the cholera outbreak. One of the critically ill children from the home who had been suffering from cholera related diarrhea for just three hours came into the cholera ward at the brink of death. IV lines were started and the life saving IV solution was pushed by force into the young girl’s IV line. She became pulse-less and was not breathing. Chest compressions were started but to no avail she was too far along in the cholera cycle and died there in the unit. An all too common outcome for the poorest of Haitians who lack quick access to much needed care.

The team responsible for the training of local school children had an audience of 170 students ranging in age from 4th grade to 11th grade. They were all looking sharp in their colorful Haitian school uniforms, a hallmark of Haitian school children. They were engaging and interested in the discussion. Of all of the audiences thus far the students, particularly the high school students, asked some insightful and touch questions. Reaching this audience is all too important as these children return home from school to share the messages about the prevention and treatment of cholera to their friends, families and communities. Spreading the word is an important piece of the overall cholera education plan the ICDDR,B came here to implement.

Photos and story submitted by HOPE volunteer, Carrie Alexander, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Johns Hopkins MPH student.

Rehab Building Continues to Progress as Volunteers Experience Thanksgiving in Haiti

The team got in later than usual today, and we didn't have much of a meal ready, so Ron White, Managing Director, The Humanitarian Network, broke out the freeze-dried backpacking stuff and it was a feast!

Everyone should spend at least one Thanksgiving helping others... Instead of Thanksgiving football, I got to play soccer in the parking lot with a few kids. No ball, but a water bottle instead. Sigh.

Buildings are coming along slower than we would like to see. Haitians do like to discuss every point, so it takes longer. When something isn't working quite right, they all have to throw in their ideas. It is kind of fun to watch. Enjoy these photos in and around the rehab building site on Thanksgiving Day.

Story and photos by Bonnie Hudlet, HOPE photographer.

Oncology Tower Groundbreaking in China

It is about the children.

Today, there are more than 300 million children in China. Sadly, experts estimate that more than 45,000 children in China are diagnosed with cancer each year. At this rate, there are simply not enough resources on hand in China to meet the physical and emotional needs of children, and their families, suffering with cancer.

Fortunately, Project HOPE and long-time partner, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, as well as Hospira, a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company, have the children’s best interests at heart.

Tomorrow, the three partners, the Shanghai City Government and other Chinese health institutions will break ground on a new Oncology Tower at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. The new tower will deliver many of the technologies, services and health professionals required to address this serious situation.

Just as Project HOPE assembled the right mix of dedicated volunteer doctors, nurses and corporate partners to establish and develop the world’s leading hospital in pediatric cardiac surgery (surgeons at SCMC performed more than 3,000 open-heart surgeries on children last year), HOPE and partners plan and expect to do the same to address childhood cancer in China.
The Shanghai Children’s Medical Center is already a leader in China in the care of children with cancer. More than 15,000 children went to the Medical Center for cancer treatment last year.

The new Oncology Tower will expand the Medical Center’s capabilities to meet the growing demand for care.

It is always about the children. I am proud of Project HOPE’s commitment to children around the world.
And while you cannot be with me tomorrow for the ground breaking in Shanghai, I will share with you the events of the day and give you an insider’s look into the much-needed Oncology Tower.

Story by Rand Walton, HOPE's Director of Strategic Communications, now in China for the groundbreaking of the new Oncology Tower at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Volunteers Continue Cholera Education As New Clinic Building Nears Completion

Cholera: A Disease of Contrasts

When the combined ICDDR,B and Project HOPE team received word late Saturday evening that the airport in Cap Haitien, one of Haiti’s Northern coastal towns hardest hit by cholera, had reopened after it had been closed due to riots, they drove through the night back to Port Au Prince to catch the first morning flight to Cap Haitian. At 6:00 am Sunday morning, the team departed for Cap Haitien.

Upon arrival they moved due south to Hôpital Sacre Coeur (HSC) in Milot where many cholera patients have sought treatment. Here, in addition to training and assessment, one of the ICDDR,B’s two microbiologists, Dr. Zahid Hayat Mahmud, will collect samples from patients to test for culture and sensitivity to see which antibiotic the cholera bacteria in this region is sensitive to. The cholera bacteria can have different sensitivities to different antibiotics regionally in the same outbreak, necessitating the need to take several samples in all regions where outbreaks of cholera have occurred. These samples will be sent back to the National Lab in Port Au Prince where ICDDR,B team member and microbiologist Dr. Sirajul Islam is standing by to test the samples. Dr. Mahmud and other team members have reported that in their home country of Bangladesh they see more than 30,000 cholera patients a month and can treat as many as 1,000 per day. They have two cholera epidemics per year, pre monsoon and post monsoon, giving them the hands-on practical experience and knowledge base it requires to help Haiti learn about cholera.

HSC in Milot has seen more than 220 cholera patients and 12 cholera related deaths. On the first day of training a comprehensive plan was put in place to reach staff at all levels of the hospital from cleaning staff and security personnel to sanitation workers and clinical staff. Three classes took place at the hospital training over 150 personnel and an additional class took place at a church to more than 130 members of a local Haitian youth group and congregants.

HSC and their treatment of cholera patients is in stark contrast to the hospital the team had visited two days prior in Les Cayes. In Les Cayes fear of contracting cholera kept some local staff from touching or even come near cholera patients. In addition, lack of staffing and resources left their system poorly organized to be able to appropriately manage the numbers of cholera patients they were being asked to treat.

Although HSC is also burdened by supply issues they are much better staffed and have the resources to organize a system wide plan. The fear of cholera here has taken on a different form. Staff is digging in, treating and touching their patients, but they have adopted habits that will use valuable fiscal resources such as donning masks, full gowns, rubber boots and surgical hats. These habits are some of the things that the team hopes they can change with the education and training they have to offer. Cholera is a disease that can only be contracted through contaminated water or food. Trying to dispel the myths about contracting cholera from all sorts of other means is proving harder than the team had thought. This being Haiti’s first ever cholera outbreak, it is no wonder there is so much fear and misunderstanding and for this reason the team is hoping a little education goes a long way.

Photos and story submitted by HOPE volunteer, Carrie Alexander, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Johns Hopkins MPH student.

Buildings Go Up and HOPE Grows

Today the HOPE team continued to develop. The roof on the clinic building is almost finished and we will put the metal on it tomorrow. We will also have another team start on building 2, the ward.

Many people visit the site each day and watch and ask questions. Most know someone who need the services and treatment that Project HOPE and its partners will provide here.

The local Haitian team members are most interesting. All just want an opportunity to help rebuild Haiti and to help someone, so we are looking for ways to assist them.

We are helping our two interpreters set up a new business to work with NGOs and companies that need their language skills and they already have their first client...a company building 2400 homes.

Both the interpreters were volunteers at the Adventist Hospital in Diquini for several months after the earthquake. They helped volunteer doctors and nurses communicate and calm those needing surgery. They spent many hours in the operating room and remember many of those that are coming back to the hospital to receive treatment.

We also have found possible opportunities for the local people helping on the team to continue working once our three buildings are complete building houses. We will also use the workers we have trained on future clinics.

Then there is Samuel, a mechanical engineer by degree and a maintenance person at the hospital. He has become a great asset. He helps with the construction coordination and he lets us use some of his tools, such as much need drill bits.

We are looking for ways for him to use his degree and work in some of the many communities being rebuilt.

These are great people who care...and who want to really make a difference in the lives of their fellow countrymen. It is a wonderful to be associated and part of the HOPE team.

Story by Ron White, Managing Director, The Humanitarian Network. Photos by Bonnie Hudlet, HOPE photographer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cholera Team Saves Lives, Rehab Facility Progresses and Critically Needed Medicines Delivered

Cholera Team Saves Lives

The ICDDR,B team in Les Cayes spent morning at the Immaculate Conception of Les Cayes Hospital. The team trained 37 nurses and two physicians, a standing room only event.

The team later toured the hospital's cholera ward and resuscitated two patients in stage three of severe dehydration (no pulse, shallow respiration, and sunken eyes … no response to external stimuli.) They were within an hour of death. With consent of local staff, our team inserted an IV into the patient's collapsed veins and started a 3-liter bottle of Ringers lactate. Within minutes the patient revived and became responsive. In four hours, the patient was smiling and talking. Later a nonresponsive 3 year old was brought to the ward. Two IV attempts were unsuccessful because of severe dehydration; the third attempt was successful and within one hour, the patient was sitting up drinking Oral Rehydration Salts and laughing.

We spent the remaining portion of day caring for patients and engaging in bedside hands-on training with local nurses. There's a lot to teach and the Haitians are eager to learn.

The team is deploying to Cap Haitien on Sunday November 21 to continue training.

Story and photos by Fred Gerber, Project HOPE's Special Projects Director.

Rehab Facility Progresses

Shortly after the January earthquake, Project HOPE sent a team of experts from Mass General Hospital to evaluate how to best contribute to rebuilding health capacity in Haiti. They advised us to focus on rehabilitation needs for survivors near the quake’s epicenter. Since then, HOPE has been working to build a comprehensive Rehabilitation Center at the Adventist Hospital (HAH), together with partners Christian Blind Mission and Prosthetika.

Rehab activities have been going on for months without a dedicated space to offer services. HOPE now has a team of U.S. volunteers assembling three modular buildings at HAH – including a 24 x 40 ft Rehab Center, housing for international medical volunteers and housing for patients being fitted for prosthetic limbs.

In coordination with our partner, Humanitarian Network (HN) , the construction team is hiring local Haitians, teaching them how to assemble the structures. All local trainees will receive training certificates, providing short term income and, hopefully, longer term employment opportunities as rebuilding efforts grow.

From the first day containers of building materials arrived at the Hospital, area residents have come forth to help. A local French teacher is now serving as translator for the crew, as well as site administrator. Another man, at the hospital with his wife – an amputee receiving therapy – joined the construction crew. As HN leader Ron White reports, “we showed up and so did they – we share the same mission.”

Story by Courtney Guthreau, Project HOPE’s Director – Americas Region.
Photos by Bonnie Hudlet.

HOPE Delivers Critically Needed Medicines

It was quite a day. Project HOPE staff Doug Lane, Regional Logistics Manager and Charles Prospere, HOPE’s Haiti Representative, were able to obtain critically needed medicines and supplies from a local medical warehouse and get them delivered to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer where Project HOPE volunteers continue to care for Cholera patients. Check out the photos.

Photos by Bonnie Hudlet.