Haiti Medical Camp
Haiti Medical Camp- Feb 13th to Feb 21st 2010
A Report: By Dr. Anita S. Pillai
It was a dream come true to be a part of the medical team that was heading to Haiti to provide medical relief to the Haitians in the aftermath of the January 12th 2010 earthquake.
On arrival to Haiti after a 8 hour road journey via Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) it was an overwhelming, heart sinking experience to see the massive devastation that was caused by mother nature reminding us that we are not at all in control and that we need to abide by the laws of nature. Massive piles of torn down constructions with Haitians living in the poorest living condition on the streets and open grounds with very little resources, no water, electricity and barely a one-time meal.
Our team got to the task by setting up 2 medical camps at the big and small church as well as conducted evening clinics at the nearby settlement area.
At the big church which had a building structure where we saw 150 to 200 patients on a daily basis while at the small church which was in the courtyard of an orphanage, home for 20 to 30 orphans, we had 60 to 70 patients coming in from the surrounding tent settlement area. Patients comprised of all age groups ranging from pediatric to geriatric patient population. Patients were treated for various conditions such as trauma – wounds & falls, hypertension, diabetes management, skin – cellulitis, scabies, Tinea, parasitic – worm infestation, infection – otitis, diarrhea, malaria, vaginal discharges, gastritis, respiratory problems, malnourishment and prenatal care.
At both the medical camps we had a running pharmacy (which I was in-charge of) with the pharmacy work-flow being more demanding at the big church. On the first day of the camp I was overwhelmed by the in-flow of locals that needed medical attention. It seemed like an ocean of people, many not having got medical care for years. We had translators as majority of the Haitians spoke only Creole. By the 2nd and 3rd day I was able to pick up some basic words in Creole and started conversing to the patients making sure they knew how to appropriately take their medications and thus be compliant. In addition there was a constant communication through facial gestures – smiles, gleaming hopeful eyes and by touch- holding hands, all expressing our love and that we really care. What touched me the most is the immense strength, courage, hopefulness and the faith in the Haitians. This has been a life-changing/heart changing experience and hope to continue this mission to help our fellow Haitians to embrace the obstacles that lay before them.
¨ To continue the on-going medical clinic and to eventually convert it into a permanent free clinic with the assistance of the local community.
¨ To set up health screening camps as well as conduct health education/ awareness sessions.
¨ To encourage & energize the youth of the community to participate in the now started community clean-up, food project, drinking water project.
¨ Re-building homes.
¨ To help in the running of local schools by volunteering in various activities such as art& craft, music and introducing the basic human values.
To sum up I truly believe that all this was physically possible because of the love, prayers and the generosity of many well-wishers. On this account I take the opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to all the members of the Kerala Club for being so instrumental in providing the ever so needed medical supplies that has gone a long way in providing medical care to the needy Haitians.
Thanking Mr. Sunil, Mr. Sujith ,Dr. Satish, Dr. Geetha, Mr. Murali to name a few, of the Kerala Club for their prompt support for this good cause.
Anita S. Pillai (M.Pharm, D.M.M, PharmD, RPh)
List of medications that were generously donated by the Kerala club were:
- Allergy medication – Claritin reditabs(childrens)
- Childrens cold & cough syrup – Dimetap
- Children’s Tylenol suspension
- Proventil HFA inhalers
- Amoxicillin 250mg/5ml suspension
- Cetaphil cleanser
In addition to all the various medications a lot of surgical supplies, Children’s nutritional drink and a box of suckers were received.