Wednesday, August 04, 2010

New HVH Clinic in Chabin

This week has been off to a great start for our new Haiti Village Health Clinic in Chabin. The clinic opened Monday and has seen 139 patients over the last three days.

The location of the clinic in Chabin is very picturesque. It is nestled part way up a mountain off the beaten path from the main road towards Port-au-Prince. This spot provides spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, rivers and luscious greenery and well as a nice cool breeze that keeps the mosquitoes away, always an added bonus!

The clinic is divided into several sections: general information, vitals, triage, consultations, laboratory and pharmacy. We have some native Haitians working in the first section, taking patients names, ages, hometowns, and contact information. The second station is where I have been positioned along with two other students from Toronto area, Jessica and Elizabeth. The three of us rotate between the lab and vitals. At the vitals station, we take patients’ blood pressures, pulse, weight, and temperature. At the lab, we do urine tests and occasionally help out in the pharmacy. Catherine, along with Wesley, another new volunteer from Vancouver, Ruth, our guesthouse manager and nursing student, and Cassidy, an EMT who has been working in Port-au-Prince, are located in the triage section. There they take the patients’ histories and do some basic diagnostics. More complicated cases are then sent to one of our two doctors, Dave and Mona, for consultations. Patients then proceed to the pharmacy to get their prescriptions filled. Overall, I’ve found the clinic to be very well organized and efficient thanks to these stations, with all of the volunteers put in positions where their expertise can be most useful.

We have also had the opportunity to meet a ton of amazing children during our time in Chabin. All of them have the most beautiful smiles and get super excited at the chance to mingle with the clinic staff after we’ve finished seeing our patients. They love to help us pack and lock up our supplies at the end of the days which is just the cutest thing to witness. Initially, we were locking everything up in a nearby school, so the kids got a kick out of riding our rented taptap truck up the bumpy mountain. Now, we’ve began to put everything in a nearby house at the end of the day for more convenience, and without fail, every afternoon the children are there and eager to assist us in carrying our boxes. They are all too adorable!

Over the next week or so, we hopefully have more successful clinic days to look forward to, so more updates to come.

Madelin Rocheleau