Friday, February 12, 2010
I was able to steal a few early morning hours away from the airport to catch up on emails. It's not an easy thing to do. I actually bought a blackberry just last week for that purpose. I still can't keep up to all my message but now with the help of a volunteer secretary I'm trying my best.
So, this morning's meeting started with the organization Bumi Sehat. I first met this organization at the hotel Hosanna where I picked up a pilot that had stayed overnight. They are great people and come with a full team of logistics, water & sanitation along with health. They are a global midwifery association that has started operations in jacmel. They will be receiving a large 44 foot dome tent on Sunday and will set up a birthing center there. They have Canadian representatives, along with their American counterparts. Their goal is to establish a long term presence in the area. I visited their new office in downtown Jacmel and the birthing center is located just behind.
Together we went to the refugee camp Pinchinat (the one that Angelina visited on Wednesday) to meet with one of the local "leaders" Charlotte, the French and Venezuelan medical teams. Unfortunately the Venezuelans were not in the camp, but we established a closer relationship with the French and the Bumi Sehat team. They have already done health assessments in the camp, and have given their number to be used for "on call" deliveries. Actually while we were visiting the French tent, there was a woman in labour. They were able to take her to their home birth the baby there.
There is growing concern about prenatal care, pregnancies, and abortions in the area. I may have mentioned earlier about young girls basically taking over the counter abortion pills purchased from the local pharmacies. We've had two with massive hemorrhage because of this. Haiti definately has a long way to come in terms of education.
So, after the refugee camp it was back to the airport. It was a busy day despite it being a day of mourning, just one month since the earthquake. The country had closed up all shops in a day of remembrance. There were several church services including one in Pinchinat while I was there. i also saw a peaceful march of people in the city.
The airport however, did not stop. Planes arriving on a regular basis as always. I guess the issue with my staff here is that they never get a day off. And we're not at the point that we can give people shifts. I'd hope that at least Ruth and Fredo would have a few hours off to attend the services but I had to call them in early to deal with the planes.
I was able to meet the Disaster Response Coordinator for the American Red Cross. He asked for my input of needs in the area. Both the Canadian and American Cross will have a long term presence here.
In the early afternoon I met with a German organization that will be starting Child Friendly Centers in the city. they will start with two projects composed of teachers, psychologists and social workers to work with the kids. I will relay this information to the Health Cluster.
I was happy this afternoon to finally complete our listing of health clinics and needs in the region. We have about 75 sites registered. We have each site linked to another spreadsheet which gives an outline of the area, needs for specific doctors and schedule for teams.
I was able to get this printed just in time for our 4:30 health meeting. We had many organiztions in attendance to prioritize health needs in the South East region. I had the input of another great Canadian contact, Mr. Allen McNicoll who works out of the Eastern region of Fond Jonwell. There was a new team present from the US and we helped them decide where their team could be most useful.
So now here I am at the hotel as the internet is still down at the guest house. Jo and I were chatting about our new guest house that should be ready for us to move in on Sunday. He's been busy all day buying supplies to get the house outfitted.
I feel that things are beginning to get organized, but Haiti is still a long way from the recovery phase.
Posted by Haiti Village Health at 11:01 PM