Medical MEET from Texas Provides Healthcare to Jolitrou

International Child Care (ICC) has faithfully served Haiti for over 40 years. Dedicated Haitian doctors, nurses and other hospital staffers, care for over 400 patients each day at Grace Children's Hospital (GCH) in Port-au-Prince. In Cap-Haïtien, community health workers, administrators and mid wives provide vaccinations, education, counseling, at-home visits and distribute food to thousands of Haitians living in rural and impoverished conditions. ICC is blessed to have not only a tremendous in-country staff, but also generous supporters in the American medical community who journey down to Haiti to provide invaluable health services and expertise.

An average of eight medical teams visit ICC programs in Haiti each year. In June 2014, members of the ICC-USA board led a medical team from Texas to ICC's health clinic in Jolitrou. Jolitrou is a rural community of nearly 14,000 people in northern Haiti, approximately 14 miles from Cap-Haïtien.  The team consisted of five physicians, a nurse practitioner and two pharmacists. Members of the Jolitrou health committee, and a physician, pharmacist and lab technician from Grand Riviere du Nord Hospital, joined the team in providing health services.

The team saw an estimated 6-700 patients in just one week. They diagnosed and treated a variety of illnesses including skin infections, pneumonia, malnutrition, allergies, parasites, hypertension, arthritis, myalgia, stress, and fatigue. The team brought their own pharmacy which included thousands of dollars worth of medications. They were able to fill prescriptions to meet each patient's medical needs. The remaining supplies were left with Madame Sam, coordinator of the Maternal Health Program, for mobile clinics and other ICC supported clinics in the north. In addition to providing medical services to an astounding amount of patients, the team taught a half-day Helping Babies Breath (HBB) class at the Grand Riviere du Nord hospital. HBB is a neonatal resuscitation program designed for training birth attendants in resource limited settings.  It has received the support of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization, and is seen as a measurable way to lower the tremendous neonatalmortality rates in the developing world.  GCH has hosted training teams in the past and now uses the HBB principles and material in their Traditional Birth Attendants training.

Medical team visits to rural clinics in the north are crucial for the community, as a lack of sustainable funding makes it very difficult for ICC Haiti to support the clinics (i.e. pay employees) and provide consistent healthcare. Due to the completion of some major funding, ICC Haiti was forced to cut its northern staff from 93 employees to 11. This does not include the 12 health agents that volunteer to serve their communities without salary, three of which are assigned to Jolitrou.

ICC, as well as the Jolitrou community, is searching for ways to maintain the clinic. It is in need of monetary and developmental support to become sustainable and to continue to empower its people and the community. For one nurse to staff the clinic in Jolitrou it would cost an estimated $4,500 per year. To completely staff and support the clinic the annual estimated cost is $11-13,000. With your generosity, we can help the community clinic of Jolitrou get back on its feet. Donatetoday and build toward a greater tomorrow for the people of Jolitrou.

Look for our next Grace Newsletter to learn more about the history of Jolitrou, as well as the impact of the Maternal Health Program and Micro-Enterprise Loan Program.