Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Supply and Demand

Thinking about the last mission has me pondering the best way for us to help.
We had one MD for 7 days, one RN for 7 days, and 2 RNs for 2 weeks.
Per our rough estimate we treated 400 people medically and did 6 surgeries, and we brought pretty close to all  the medications/supplies that we needed to accomplish this.

We could have worked 24/7 and not seen all the people that need care.  We could've seen many more people if there was any sort of organized health care SYSTEM in NW Haiti, but there is none. Even the smallest task takes 20 times longer than usual due to poor communication, disorganization, and lack of any "system" or standard way of doing things.

Dr Mark worked at Berakca hospital in La Pointe, Haiti. He was one of a staff of 5 physicians available for this region. He worked closely with the only OB in Port de Paix-- who happens to work 24/7 for 3 weeks at a time- the only OB for an area of 500,000 people (our population for this region is about 200,000 and there are 20 OBs).
Most women deliver at home--- and home is very likely a dirt floor, no running water, and no electricity...perhaps alone or with a family member or an untrained midwife as their guide-- unlikely that there has been any prenatal care and very likely that mom is chronically malnurished..... so she is without a doubt considered to be high risk.  What happens when there are complications? DOES she have access to transportation, ARE the roads are driveable, DOES she has someone to help her?  Not very likely.

Reviewing the WHO (World Health Organization) statistics I found that Haiti places last (in the American region) for infant survival with 300 deaths per 100,000 deliveries- I believe this is a very low estimate. My guess is that there are a LOT that are never reported since most births occur at home. WHAT ABOUT MATERNAL SURVIVAL??? How many women actually make it to the hospital for help when they are having difficultly with their deliveries? What about postpartum complications-how many of these women get care? Probably very few. Maternal deaths go unreported, and the infants they carry go to their grave with them.

Here are some pictures from our last mission:

Airport in Miami- team Peace Love Haiti

Evangel and Holly on the way up NW

Orphan kids up NW

Kids work their way into your heart in an instant!

Haitian Isolet

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