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Haiti-My first Medical Mission I'm helping Midwives for Haiti to educate skilled birth attendants. Haiti has the highest mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. Here is where I will write daily journals of my adventure.

Day 4

HAITI | Monday, 16 October 2017 | Views [348]

Day 4~ NRP, home visits, supply inventory and horrific news.


Awaken to multiple alarms going off at one time. We all get rather quickly and start our day off with coffee and breakfast. I only have a banana this morning as I’m not that hungry. The coffee is alright and I’m feeling lucky to have it but I surely miss my Seattle coffee.

After breakfast, we get cleaned up and ready for our various destinations. Some are mobile clinic, hospital and classroom. While we are getting ready, Perrine comes in and has been crying. She asks who took care of the woman with twins the day before. Apparently, she has heard horrible news. The lady had 2 footling breech babies. She was begging for a c/s and her tubes to be tied. Sometime is the day the ‘doctor’ decided to pull both babies out of the mother at 8cm dilated. HORRIFIC and BARBARIC. I can’t even describe how painful that must’ve been. She passed out from pain after the first one and when the second one came out the placenta came with it. She was immediately brought back for emergent surgery by another doctor and he removed her uterus. She was in a coma and in the ‘ICU’. We were to check in on her today if we were going there and to bring some formula for the twins.  Dear God, did I just hear her right. He ripped those babies out of her?? He would be arrested and sent to prison, lose his license and be sued for every dollar he had if that was in the US. How does he even sleep at night? He doesn’t care so probably just fine. Megan and Ali prepare themselves for seeing a mother die and we wish them luck and the use of their good skills.


I’m in the classroom today. Finishing up NRP testing and teaching newborn assessments. Before long, I can hear the students singing. The day has begun. I go out to the front porch and get everything set up. My translator is waiting for me. I have a few eager students from NRP yesterday wanting to test. I had done and passed most of them but I wasn't able to test them all and a couple didn’t pass and wanted to retake.

Slowly, I go one by one with the students, delicately teaching them key elements of a newborn assessment. What is normal and what may be of concern. It’s a lot to cover and they need to memorize it. These students are like sponges and so eager to learn. Most do a practice test and are ready to test immediately after. It’s a slow tiring job, especially for my poor translator who has to repeat everything. A couple hours in and we take a break. Water and bathroom break. I grab a quick snack too. When I get back outside, some of the students from yesterday are eager to take their NRP test and get it over with. I agree because it just takes a few minutes to get it done. All pass!! Very exciting to be able to write ‘pase’ on their papers and 16/16 correct. They are very grateful for the teaching and thank me quite frequently.

Before long, the day is over and I have completed many tests on many students. I hear the lunch bell ring and I am eager to say goodbye to the students and go eat. Pasta salad, Haitian rice and beans (of course) and fried chicken drums. All delicious, (of course). No one has felt ill and we are so very grateful!! Crossing our fingers that the oils are keeping us healthy. Lunch time is nice because all the staff and volunteers eat together and mingle.

After lunch, there’s little time to rest. It’s time to unpack and do inventory on all the supplies we have brought. Every little thing needs to be counted. It takes us all a couple hours to go through many bags of donations. After a while, we determine that a beer is needed to go through it all. So, we each grab a dollar and walk out of the gates, opened by the security guard, across the street to the vendor. We buy a beer and one for our security guy. When we are finished with that, we are asked to cut and prepare the cord ties. It’s a simple task but time consuming. We cut simple string into about 5-6in long segments. We curl them around a finger, slide it off, and place it in a piece of ripped scrap paper. Shelly, the interpreter, takes them to the hospital where the can be sterilized. We do quite a few between all of us. But, we aren’t done for the day yet!!

Perrine lets me know that it’s time to do Home visits. I need to follow up with one of the ladies from the day before. She calls us a moto and off we go. When we arrive, the lady tells us she was feeling better and finally had a bowel movement. This is great news. The baby also was feeding better too. THIS is the reason we do home visits. The teaching is saving lives. People are not educated much and they don’t really know what happens if they don’t do things in a healthy way.  We realize we forgot to bring some medication for the baby’s thrush. We call Kelby and ask for him to bring it. While we wait we do an assessment on both mom and baby. The lady has a little sister about 3 years old and has been entertaining all of us with walking around with a light pink 5-gallon bucket on her head. So cute!

Kelby shows up with some medication for both mom and baby. We instruct them how to use it and give them their first doses. It’s getting dark and I’ve sprayed bug spray on me. The mosquitos love me and I’m dealing with a lot of itchy bites!!

We ride home and I know dinner has been ready for some time. It was nearly complete when we left. It will be cold but I will surely eat it. Fritters of some sort, fried plantains and a spicy coleslaw type salad. All yummy. I have to admit, I was looking forward to eating plantains since I haven’t had them in a while.

After dinner, we call it an early night. The girls go to bed way earlier than I do and I’m usually bored so I stay up attempting to get caught up in my blog. I sit in my mosquito net, with the laptop, dodging trapped bugs attracted to the light on the laptop. Small 4in fan blowing a much-desired breeze in my face.

I’ve taken my meds and placed on my oils. I guess I'll go to sleep. Nothing else to do. Big day at the hospital tomorrow. My favorite place here and I can’t wait to go there and see the woman from yesterday.


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