Cholera Team Saves Lives, Rehab Facility Progresses and Critically Needed Medicines Delivered
Project HOPE is on the ground in Haiti, saving lives of cholera victims, making progress on the construction of a rehabilitation center for survivors of the earthquake, and delivering critically needed medicines to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer.
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.
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.”
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.