Report From Haiti
From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
February/March 2012 Edition
Ketline Edouard, Boston Medical Center, with Haitian children.
By Ketline Edouard, BSN, RN at Boston Medical Center
In October 2011, a team of 30 medical and non-medical volunteers from hospitals in the Boston area, including several MNA hospitals, traveled to Haiti to run a mobile clinic to help those in need. Our team, “Dedicated Hands for Health,” was there to provide basic medical care, evaluations and treatments to those living in the village of St. Raphael and its surrounding communities.
As has been widely reported, the entire nation of Haiti is living in a state of despair and quality health care in the country is out of reach to most people due to the cost. Making matters worse is the fact that the nation’s hospitals are regionalized and are often without any staff, supplies or medications. There are rarely enough physicians or nurses to care for the sick. But with assistance and support from our families, friends and the Massachusetts Nurses Association, we were able to provide care to nearly 700 Haitians.
Our days at the mobile clinic were incredibly busy, and each began with volunteers registering hundreds of patients. On the first day, we registered 165 patients. On the second day, 305 patients were registered, with another 217 arriving on our third day. On our fourth day, we met with area high school students and offered educational sessions on sexually transmitted diseases and related preventions.
An important goal of everyone who traveled in October as part of “Dedicated Hands for Health” was to make a lasting and continuing contribution to the people of Haiti, and we believe we did. But that would not have been possible without the support of countless friends and family members, as well as the MNA.