If is Monday then it must be me and this must be Haiti.
Well woke up this morning to a General Clinic Day and I can safely say that we had a line around the block long before I had the opportunity to pop out to the local Starbucks for a triple espresso. In fact there was a line around the block before I even got out of bed.
166 patients by days end. A trip record. High on the icky factor we drained a number of abcesses and ganglion cysts. Good thing I did not sleep through that lecture day. Say a number of sickle cell anemia cases which is not uncommon among the population and treated a man who we believe to have been misdiagnosed with philoriasis. We worked him over and assessed a hernia. Unfortunately he does not have the money to travel to the hospital for surgical consult and hernias are not one of the condition that we provide funds for. We did provide h im with medication and some support and wished him well and recommended regular rechecks with our Haitian staff. We also saw a couple who were trying to concieve for the last 4 years and our assessment was that it probably was for mostly treatable causes. We treated what we could and offered counselling and sent them off with best wishes. Only time will tell.
I am told that I was tasked with the new guy job, the Sex Ed class. I have done these in Canada and was very suprised with the level of maturity, interest and practical knowledge. The teens asked very directed and seriosu questions about HIV and AIDS and were extremely interested in hearing what we had to say and thankful for us having offered the class. Still a few jokes were levied here and there, or at least that is what the translator told me. In fact I think I may have learned a thing or two but nothing suitable for record here.
Tonight we are doing a Haitian version of the Dragon's Den. HVH is trying to prototype a microcredit opportunity here in the village. Offering small loans to people who have ideas for businesses that can help improve their lot. We are using a model based on research from other groups in Haiti and from the great Nobel winner Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
I can say that I am having a great time and this is the opportunity of a lifetime for a med student. I would highly recommend it to anyone. I feel that we are living in a luxury which sometimes give me pause. Then I listen to the old timers tell me that the first trips involved sleeping on a mat on the floors of the school, showering from a bucket and treating water every morning to drink. Oh yeah and the treating patients by headlamp and candlelight. they never tire of re-telling that one.
Wishing everyone the best at home. See you soon.
Tiffany Keenan, MD CCFP
Director: Haiti Village Health
7 Marley Beach Drive