Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Our Week at a Clinic in Port au Prince, Haiti

   In the first week after the historic earthquake of Jan 12th, we collected medical supplies to send to Haiti. Annie arranged for a collection site at Antone's. She put me in touch with a pilot, Jim,who was heading that way. He put me in touch with a emergency response airplane organization. I called some of the people that they were flying to Haiti. Chris at DorsainvilFoundation.org kept in touch. He was the one who told me that he hopes the medical interest continues in March, way after all the emergency surgeries, after Haiti is no longer headline news. On Feb 28th, three of us doctors from Austin flew down on one of the first commercial flights restarted by American Airlines. Reggie, a Brooklyn born Haitian, who volunteers with the foundation, picked us up at the airport. The clinic is situated in what was once used by a political facility. This is a free clinic that has no political or religious affiliation.

   Dr. Dorsainvil, a Haitian-American who practices in Florida, has had an ongoing clinic in another town in Haiti. When the quake happened, he found this unaffected building in a nice neighborhood in Port au Prince. Initially they provided emergency care and surgery (on the desk!...with anesthesia) but now provide ongoing medical care to mostly tent city people who come the mile up the hill to where we are. The women who translate there are great. They themselves live in the family size,7 feet high tents on the compound with their families.

Partial building collapse

How we lived Down Therre

Volunteer health care workers stay inside the clinic. We had air mattresses and mosquito nets. I brought down a donated laptop computer that works fine with the wi-fi there. We had to have flexibility in our journey there: electricity occasionally went down but the generator for the building was available; running water was sometimes down...

 BUT Reggie always brought us Haitian food from a restaurant and we enjoyed a mid day get together with the staff. He took us around the city: to see the destruction, to visit some hospitals to see what their pharmacies could share, and to enjoy a late night meal a few times. The place has lush vegetation, surrounding mountains, wonderful people ...
Please feel free to make comments or questions or email me. Medical assistants, pharmacists, etc could do a lot at a low key clinic like this

They have a permanent Spanish / French speaking MD there 7 days a week. Who knows who you might influence to make this trip of volunteering in an incredibly beautifully place in an historic, though disastrous situation.

HypertensionRxHaiti.com - Dr. Roehm, a cardiologist, wrote up:
Table of Contents:
1. What medications used for treating hypertension are particularly cost effective?
2. What are some of the medications previously commonly used in Haiti for treating hypertension?
3. What is the way to tell a Haitian patient their blood pressure results in a way that is understandable to the patient?
4. What are some general considerations in treating hypertension in Haiti?
5. What are some specific medications to consider using, including therapeutic considerations and equivalent dosages of other medications in the same therapeutic class?
6. Frequency of medication translated into English, French, & Kreyol.
7. What are some cost effective drug combinations for treating hypertension ?
8. HTN Rx Protocol: If Lab unavailable
9. HTN Rx Protocol: Lab monitoring available


P.S. thanks Annie for putting the idea in my head
A.R.Russo anthonyrussomd@gmail.com; contact Chris atDorsainvilFoundation.org



Consultations on the Patio of the Clinic

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Tent for Sophonie

Rose & Carline-clinic volunteers

Downed buildings everywhere

Tent city patients at our clinic

Tent city patients come 1 mile to our clinic in upscale neighborhood.

Gate to our Clinic

Gate to our clinic. Donated by a political party

WE slept and worked INSIDE.

WE slept and worked INSIDE.

Dr Russo teaches glucose testing

Dr Russo teaches glucose testing to Alix and Carline

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Haitian Americans treat the Wounds

Dr Toussaint teaches how to take BP

Dr Toussaint teaches how to take BP

Dr. Toussaint in Haiti

Dr. Toussaint in Haiti

Dr. Abel

Dr. Abel

French colonial architecture- I presume

We took a walk in the neighborhood . . . Could not get over the natural beauty, combined with quaint french architecture! ...and the cracked-opened and fallen schools and large homes. The stories: 'yes many students died here,... not there- none killed'. Walking the quiet residential streets felt comfortable - no hassles as foreigners.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

French hosp roof view of hills of PtaPr

French hosp roof view of hills of PtaPr

Friday, March 5, 2010

A tap-tap bus. (sorry,a little blurry)

A tap-tap bus. (sorry,a little blurry)
Went by some hospitals today but only came away with a baggie full of iron pills and a couple of inhalers. One of the clinic staff's uncle did take our advice yest and went to the hosp and was admitted; we visited him today. We had a catholic lenten procession on OUR street! I picked up on a significant heart murmur and sky high blood pres
in a 15 yo! Luckily eric the cardio. diagnosed and directed a follow up plan for the hospital to do. I skype with the clinic adminsrtr who is coming down from Fl. Seems to be tending to our wish list.
Overcast in Haiti. . . with sprinkley rain, as the line forms: ptsd and somatic symptoms for many, while others walking around with deadly bp or diarrhea in a newborn. Where do you go when your clinic w/ your bp or tb meds has collapsed?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We took a ride around Port au Prince...

We took a ride around Port au Prince... hard to describe: devastation everywhere, yet they survive and eek out an existence: not sure what's more profound: buildings, in every direction you look, are down or frozen in half-down positon. Or maybe it's seeing the citizens of this once gorgeous city, scavenging wood and metal from 2nd story level of half devastated buildings, the tarps and tents in every public square square/sidewalk/even blocked off streets. The people getting buckets of water from the gutters of oily streets. The church that has stood 150 years falls with this historic quake.

I saw no obvious reconstruction or demolition going on, and we drove extensively in the Port au Prince area. In Galveston, my home town, 2 mos after hurricane ike, it was weird seeing federal aid trucks everywhre: salvation army type trucks for free hot lunch, tide detergent stations to let you wash your clothes,demolition dozers and trucks everywere and areas piled up. In contrast i saw nothing like this going on here. i'm sure there is much of these things going on, but it was not obvious to us.

One of the local guys from our clinic, showed us where he was driving his 2 girls when the quake happened: a woman getting elecrocuted to his left, a wall falling to his right, and behind he saw a fallen building where he had just passed, thanks to a nice guy who had waved him on seconds before the quake!

Seeking certain meds from a hospital.

Seeking certain meds from a hospital.







End off clinic hours, off to view the to

End off clinic hours, off to view the town

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It was so hectic bec it was temp. Airpor

It was so hectic bec it was temp. Airport




Another good day at the clinic. 100 patients a day between 4 providers. Electricity down - and that fan made it manageable ! Skype working a bit slow. Email me if you are reading this blog .

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Finished morning clinic: how do you approach medical care for people who have no recorded medical care, no means for lab or follow up. The people are so patient, so appreciative. The meds supplies the volunteers bring are what we are limited to use: excess of this: none off that.
No sudafed this week ! I'm making a list and get a suit case to put on an american airline flight when i get back !
More text message: did i say quiet? 4am correction- except some darn rooster. No mosquitoes, but still under the mosqu net.
Arrival in Haiti. No hassles at airport or customs BUT outside -an incredible scene. Dr dorsainvil's sharp rep met us and all went well. Picture crowds of men in near darkness, reaching out to help push your heavy luggage cart over very uneven, puddle filled sidewalk . Driving, seeing the wreckage and tent cities that we've seen on cnn. Occas whiffs of some malodor , some coolness in the evening air, but the still, hot air indoors just makes you sweat .Camping out on the floor (amid stacked boxes of meds) of the open air, concrete building , in a quiet neighbor hood of central, (hilly) Port au Prince. Met the haiti amer psych. Not met the cuban dr yet.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Traveling to Haiti with someone from there, brings a different perspective: when we needed to thin out the luggage, the bulk bags of splenda and other hard to get items stayed !