In September, Medical Mission team leaders and UMKC medical students Claire Smith and Peter Lazarz will be bringing a medical clinic to Grand Savanne, Haiti, where In His Hands' Orphan Care Home is located.
The need is for a clinic like this in Grand Savanne is enormous. Haiti, and rural areas such as Grand Savanne in particular, suffer from a host of preventable illnesses and medical problems. In rural areas of Haiti, 75 percent of births are still without the assistance of qualified personnel in obstetrics. Haiti has the highest infant mortality rate in the Americas. Preventable illnesses, such as cholera, tuberculosis and pneumonia are the most widespread causes of deaths of children in Haiti.
Right now, there is only one clinic within accessible distance for most Grand Savanne residents, which consists of one American doctor, one Haitian doctor, and a few nurses. It serves over 130 people per day and over 30,000 a year. There are simply not the resources to serve everyone that needs medical care.
In His Hands' Medical Mission will not only make a difference in the short term; it will act as an endorsement of local resources. We will seek out existing resources, provide training to the local "nurses" (people in Haiti who the locals consult for medical maladies, sometimes without formal medical training or certification), and teach the locals basics of hygiene and heath care. We'll focus on:
1. Public health
Slightly dependent on participant numbers, but will include things like clean drinking water and ways to purify, dental hygiene (especially with kids), women's health, and more.
2. Establishing a trained local medicine resource
Teach disease management plans. We will provide a step-by-step algorithm for diagnosing and treating basic conditions that is used in areas of limited resources. "Nurses" would be able to use these to better serve the people they treat.
3. Possibly teaching a newborn resuscitation course, and providing basic resuscitation equipment for future use.
4. Establishing a set "clinic" location that the locals know and trust as being an accessible resource for medical care when the need arises.
The challenge? Costs for the necessary drugs and supplies to support this medical clinic come to nearly $10,000. We are doing everything we can (fundraising, applying for grants, requesting donations from drug companies) to raise the necessary funds before September, and we're asking for your help.
Every donation, no matter the size, will make a difference in the lives of Haitians who need care. Thank you helping us serve the children and families of Grand Savanne!