The first night we stayed at the Heartline Guest House in Haiti, there were other visitors as well. Some folks were working at a local orphanage and they brought one of the Haitian children back to the guest house that night. His name was Gabriel and he was about 14 months old. He was quite ill with fever and cough, so the workers were worried about leaving him behind at the orphanage, which they said was not taking good care of its children. They found out I was there, a family doctor, with medicine in our many suitcases, so naturally they asked me to take a look at the child. After examining him, I could reassure them that he seemed to have bronchitis but not pneumonia or an ear infection, and we had medicine to treat this condition. Next step was digging through TWENTY TWO suitcases to find the amoxicillin and a syringe to dispense it with. Wes, our pharmacy student, found the medication right away. It was in powder form, so he mixed it up with water and Voila! we had the remedy. We also found tylenol for his fever, and cough syrup. I dont think Wes expected to be put to work quite so soon, but it was typical for Haiti. It is always very satisfying for me to be able to help a child who is sick, especially in Haiti where the poor have very few options for seeing a doctor, much less buying medicine.
To all of you who sent in donations to the West Tennessee Haiti Partnership, please know that your contributions helped pay for our $1500 worth of medication which we used on our trip. Actually, we only used a small portion of our supplies, intending to leave the rest for use by the Haitian pediatrician who works at St. Vincent’s 3 days a week.
St. Vincent’s has hired a full time nurse, Marilaine, to run the pharmacy. This is great news, especially since one of her duties is to supervise the distribution of vitamins to all the children every day with their lunch.
She will be training Samuel Elizaire to help her as a pharmacy tech over the next few months. Samuel is a graduate of St. Vincent’s school. It’s great to see the school slowly rebuilding itself after the earthquake.