Each day that Chrislande Perceval arrives to work at Grace Children’s Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she is reminded of her valuable role in providing healthcare and guidance to the community. Because she practices such a high level of nursing care, her patients trust her and are able to learn valuable information that could help save their children’s lives.
“I’m so happy when I see the children come back to the clinic for a follow-up and they are healthy,” she says. “The mothers thank me, and that makes me happy.”
Grace Children’s Hospital’s inpatient ward, outpatient clinics, and urban community health programs serve tens of thousands of people living in the high-poverty areas of the lower Delmas. In Haiti, one in twelve children will die before the age of five from a preventable disease. International Child Care (ICC), the hospital’s parent organization, seeks to change this reality through treatment, vaccinations, nutrition, and education. ICC does this is by providing education services and highlighting the potential of local women. It is through the training services at the hospital that Chrislande is able to improve her level of care and realize her own value, worth, and abilities.
“It also helps me to protect families by teaching them when a child should go to the hospital or see a doctor,” she says. “They used to wait until it was too late.”
Educating the public allows mothers to have successful healthy births and to know when to seek professional assistance. This helps reduce the infant mortality rate and provides a brighter future for the children and families of the community.
The training Chrislande, and many more like her, receives is at the hospital’s new Education and Training Center and SimLab, funded in part by USAID/ASHA. Students, nurses, and healthcare workers can now put theory to practice through various pediatric simulations with fourteen manikins all modeled after children in various stages of development. Sample simulations include inserting IVs, performing CPR, and even delivering babies. The evidence-based practice Helping Babies Surviveteaches the knowledge needed to properly care for a newborn as well as support, educate, and empower mothers in the community.
In addition to the hospital’s local staff, five nursing schools currently study at the training lab, and the more than 60 students per month that complete clinical rotations at the hospital now have the opportunity to improve their communication skills, refine critical thinking, and expand clinical training with manikin simulation. Doctors and nurses from the United States regularly come to offer specialized training and network with the local healthcare professionals.
Having recently received a promotion to the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic, Chrislande says, “The training has helped me to be more qualified and advance in my career. AndHelping Babies Survive has helped me to be a more effective nurse.” And for the training made available to her through Grace Children’s Hospital, Chrislande—and all of the women whose lives she has impacted and whose children she has saved—are thankful.