We met in the morning bright and early at 7:30, then headed to an orphanage run by Partners In Health, where we met Cate, the local director, Jesse, the procurement officer, and Daniel, who runs external relations. Jesse and Daniel stayed with us throughout the day, and Cate met us again at dinner. The orphanage also shares space with PIH’s local headquarters. PIH employs 5,000 Haitians, and is the third largest employer in Haiti, after the government and Digicell. They take care of 48 children who were abandoned at the public hospital. We loved getting to see the kids and see the whole facility. We toured their warehouse, where we saw a very sophisticated X-ray machine, known as a C-Arm, which had been shipped by MedShare, and recognized another pallette that we had shipped.
Next, we went to Hinche, where we were hosted by the very impressive Dr. Dure. At the outpatient clinic they run, they see up to 800 patients per day. We saw the family planning / prenatal care area, and learned about the programs PIH has in place to combat malnutrition and HIV. There are also 80 -100 inpatient beds staffed at this facility. They also perform 17 C-Sections/month.
We were treated to a tasty lunch from our welcoming hosts at the facility in Hinche, before heading to PIH’s new facility in Mirebelais. On our way, we passed the dam that Paul Farmer highlighted in Mountains Beyond Mountains. Daniel mentioned that he had never seen the water level lower, which would be a threat to the local fishing.
A great introduction to the many social challenges faced in Haiti. More to come!
Thanks for reading,
Andy Pines (MedShare Board and Western Region Council Member) and daughter Analisa (8th grade)