News & Events

An update: Haiti relief efforts by MNA members

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
February/March 2011 Edition

By Ketline Edouard, RN

This is our success story of the mission we recently completed in St. Raphael, Haiti. The team included MNA members and fellow RNs from Boston Medical Center and an MNA colleague from Cambridge Health Alliance.

Between Oct. 21 and 26, 2010, a team of 25 medical and non-medical volunteers put their skills together to run a mobile clinic and provide basic medical care evaluation and treatment in the village of St. Raphael and surrounding communities. With the support of family and friends and the MNA, we were able to travel to Haiti for a week to see about 400 people at the mobile clinic.

More than half of those seen were treated for hypertension, a few for diabetes (with 30 days worth of medication administered) and many others for general malaise such as infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, cough, pain, fever, ulcer and worms. Also men, women and children were able to receive multivitamins and calcium for daily use and a few sessions of hand-washing teaching were given to tend to the outbreak of cholera that started upon our arrival.

With the crisis in Haiti, this mission was special in many ways. Not only was this our first trip to St. Raphael, but it was also, for some of us, the first time we witnessed an entire nation living in a state of despair. This trip was an opportunity for us to be able to go and offer our assistance to those in need.

This mission marked the beginning of a partnership between Dedicated Hands for Health (the name we have given ourselves) and St. Raphael and its surrounding communities. It was through this group and through the overwhelming amount of help and support we received that we were able to reach out to patients across three different communities, St. Raphael included. With such a great beginning, we are hoping to continue to work with MNA and our supporters in order to reach out to more people in need across these communities.

A mission is only successful with a great team and we were very fortunate to have such an unbelievable team of volunteers on this mission. Our team reflected a perfect combination of energy, expertise and experience. It was the tireless efforts of the team that set an excellent example of care and compassion. Of course, our mission would not have been possible without the efforts of all our supporters especially the MNA. On behalf of Dedicated Hands for Health, we thank you all for your constant support and guidance.

The next scheduled trip to Haiti is Oct. 19, 2011.