Update from Dr. Bob – July 2009
The Community Health Outreach is now reaching hundreds of children in five separate remote areas who have never had access to adequate health care or even ever seen a doctor or nurse. Mary Ellen Sanok, the program director, has just returned from Jolivert where she has given further training to our outreach providers in such areas as diagnosis of malaria, proper use of blood pressure cuffs, equipping them with otoscopes, etc.. The latest outreach clinic to be established is at the extremely remote village at the highest point in northwest of Haiti called Tante. Betty and I had the opportunity to visit it in October and found a neat and orderly pharmacy well stocked with the medications still being so generously donated by Child First Meds, another of our mission partners in Franklin, Texas. We were able to hold a clinic for the older Haitians while up there. Mary Ellen has personally visited and held clinics at several of our other four clinics. Kudos to both she and Child First Meds for a job well done!
In 2006, Missions of Love began a new program to bring healthcare to children in mountainous and remote rural villages of the greater Jolivert area, utilizing community chosen health care workers. Numerous villages in the countryside have limited formal roads to Jolivert and even fewer doctors or clinics. In the past, a parent would walk 2 – 8 hours from their homes to Clinique Jolivert with their ill children, some children perishing along the way. Seeing, understanding and hoping to provide the health needs in distant and isolated villages, the idea of outreach clinics was conceived and researched.
The World Health Organization states, a community health worker programs can and should be seen as part of a broader strategy to empower communities, enable them to achieve greater control over their health and improve the health of their members, and Missions of Love agreed. During 2006, villages were determined. The people of these communities chose literate adults they trusted and respected, important values noted by the Center for Disease Control and the steering committed of Missions of Love, to be trained as a health care worker. It was agreed that the clean water program needed to be a partner in these new clinics (click here to learn more about the clean water program).
By the summer of 2006, a weeklong training in Jolivert was given to community laypersons to become the healthcare provider for their village, and on-going continued training occurs for a number of weeks afterward by one of the Clinique Jolivert nurses or doctor. The new community health care workers learn how to diagnose and treat the most common life-threatening illnesses, including dehydration, malnutrition, malaria and parasites. They also learn how to give first aid for burns, fractures, wounds and sprains. They are tested to assure quality care to the people in their villages, and the first two outreach clinics were opened in the fall of 2006. Initial training has been given during this past summer to people from three additional villages, and we are looking forward to these outreach clinics opening during the fall of 2007 as well.
Thank you to Child First Meds!
Lucress and Dick Watson Children’s Foundation, Child First Meds donates free medications to the outreach clinics, which is a blessing of enormous magnitude. Click on the link above to read more about their mission.
Additional groups and individuals donate other needed supplies to complete the setting-up of the outreach clinics. In a country where up to 20% of the children die before they reach the age of 5, access to healthcare is essential. We are happy to say that in the first year of service, almost 900 children were seen at the outreach clinics and there have been no reported pediatric deaths in the outreach clinicâ€™s service areas due to lack of access to healthcare!
God is blessing this program in every aspect, and you could help too, with your donation!
MaryEllen Sanok, RN, MSN, FNP-C
Outreach Clinics Coordinator, USA
Outreach Clinics Coordinator, Haiti
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