Monday, March 2, 2015

As the majority of the trip members left for Thomam in order to set up clinic, myself and few brave souls held down the fort at HCM. We set up a clinic for HCM locales/non-locales and saw patients throughout the morning/early afternoon. The translators, Dr. Harman and other students were spectacular in keeping the clinic running smoothly throughout. After chowing down a quick lunch, I was fortunate to work with the dental team who allowed me not only apply anesthesia, but also to pull out teeth. Due to their masterful tutelage, my inherent potential for chaos didn’t play a role in either jobs, and from a distant view, it may have looked like a did a decent job.

Overall, it was a great learning experience, but it was not simply from a clinical standpoint. You realize the necessity for people to find a source of health care. As someone who is of Haitian descent, I feel honored to have the opportunity to (try to) help these people who are in need.

We arrived at the airport on Saturday evening, and we were welcomed with smile by the HCM people. First day we crossed a lake in boats and went to a small village. Second day we went to Thoman village. In both villages, we were welcomed by adorable kids. We set up mobile clinics both days. We saw around 100 patients each day. We saw many patients with scabies, very high blood pressure, rashes, UTI, muscle pain, GERD, impetigo, and we dispensed many antibiotics, ibuprofens, acetaminophen, ACEs/ARBs, and multivitamins. It was a great learning experience. I learned a lot about different antibiotics, GERD medications, and especially to work in an interdisciplinary team. More than that, I was very glad to be part of this mission trip and having an opportunity to help people in need of health care.

Hello from Haiti! The past few days have been a blur of activity and changing plans as we help serve the medical needs of many thankful Haitian people. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to travel across the lake via Haitian rowboats to assist a village that is not frequently provided with medical care. I helped with many pediatric patients, applied fluoride varnishes, made some friends both young and old, and helped pull some teeth (in that order). Today we drove up the mountain to reach a smaller village but our bus broke down halfway there. We are realizing the value of flexibility and a positive spirit as plans have a way of quickly changing here. We still reached the village after an hour or so delay and saw 70 or so patients. I helped triage patients today and help with the flow of patients but still got to see a few kids, I always seem to find a few. This trip has been incredible so far. The people are bright, welcoming and appreciative of our service here. However, I find myself also being served in a way. I can’t quite put words to it but I have the sense we are receiving just as much, if not more, than we are providing here in Haiti.