After a slow start to the morning things moved quickly through the day with a total of 115 patients seen.
Our dental suite was busy with many difficult treatments required. Many Haitians go their entire life without ever seeing a dentist. Those that do will often only see one when a team like ours visits. A few hiccups with tools and equipment limited some of the patients that could receive treatment but our wonderful Haitian staff at the clinic were busily tracking down exactly what we need and we hope to have parts tomorrow to allow Dr. Amir to use all the tools he needs. We were able to invite those patients to come back later in the week for the treatment they need.
Our 3 doctors, along with a local Haitian doctor saw people of all ages but a majority were women and children. Everything from infections to dehydration and malnutrition were treated by our doctors and prescriptions filled on the spot in our pharmacy.
A seriously ill 18 month old was assessed and it was decided to send him and his mom into Port au Prince to see a Paediatrician at the hospital. Our Haitian medical director hopes to follow up tomorrow to see how he is doing.
The pharmacy was a buzz of activity as medications were sorted, counted and mixed to treat the patients with anywhere from one week to a month’s supply. Many people were grateful to receive simple pain relievers or antibiotics and everyone also received a toothbrush and toothpaste and multivitamins. Items we in Canada often take for granted but when your priority is food and shelter for your family, buying these simple things is just not a priority.
The team’s discussion around the dinner table later was how the experience of seeing a patient for a few moments without much of a medical history, access to testing they would use at home and especially, being able to follow up to see how a patient was doing, is a difficult part of this kind of mission. It is one of the very reasons that EMI wants to be able to send teams more often and someday even keep the clinic running all the time.
Our team is making a difference. Our doctors and dentists educate as well as treat. Mothers leave knowing more about how to take care of themselves and their children, to keep their families healthy. And…for all of us…tomorrow is a new day.
NOTE: our lack of adequate wifi is making it difficult to upload pictures to add to our post. I will try again in the morning and hopefully have some luck.