Healthcare story continued...

…Cotes-de-Fer and the surrounding villages. After identifying numerous patients with Hypertension, a major cause of strokes in the Haitian population, our medical team began to work on solving the problem. Since the medical team’s visits were only on an annual basis, patients would run out of medication before their next visit. This put them at risk for a stroke. The team formulated a plan and hired a Haitian nurse to check blood pressures and administer medication. Nurse Angela now visits the villages several times a year, checks blood pressures and administers medication when necessary. She works under the direction of a local physician and sends reports back to our medical team. This program has the potential to save many lives and will be monitored closely by the medical team.

Why Healthcare Drives Us

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti called the world’s attention to Haiti and to the scarcity of medical care and facilities. At the time, we had a twinning relationship with St. Joseph Parish in Cotes-de-Fer. It became obvious that assistance was needed in many areas, especially in healthcare. Helping Hugs began their medical mission trips shortly thereafter and through the years has helped identify some critical needs. Many illnesses were the result of using contaminated water. Strokes were a leading cause of early death in Haiti as a result of hypertension. Programs were put in place to address these critical health needs. Education is the key to a better future

Accomplishments

Our medical team hired a Haitian nurse and set up an ongoing program to check blood pressures and administer medication to treat the high blood pressure. The program works in association with the local physician in charge of healthcare for the area of Cotes-de-Fer. We are grateful to Shell Global Solutions US, Inc. who helps fund the medications through their employee matching grant program. We are also grateful to The Brunswick (GA) Chapter of the Links, Inc. who assists in funding the salary for the traveling nurse.

During the last medical mission trip our medical team examined over 1000 people in less than a week. They made it a priority to visit the 3 schools under our care to check the well being of the children and treat them for common problems such as malnutrition, lice and worms. They also took the opportunity to teach hygiene and proper hand washing to prevent future illnesses.

Many of the illnesses they saw in adults and especially in women were the result of using contaminated water. As a result, Helping Hugs, Inc. embarked on a program to bring clean, potable water to the communities we serve. You can learn more about this program on our page focusing on Water.

All members of our team volunteer their time for the week long trip as well as countless hours of preparation for the journey. Many contribute to the expense of the trip as well. We also receive great support from individual and corporate donors as well as our partners Southeast Georgia Health Systems and Brunswick Chapter of The Links, Inc. Patients are never charged for their visits nor their medications.

Future Plans

Our medical team continues to work with our water group to improve the health of the communities we serve. Teaching preventative hygienic practices is a major focus of every mission. A video developed in collaboration with Southeast Georgia Health system and translated into Haitian Creole by a hospital employee will continue to be used during each mission while patients are waiting to be seen.

Medical records are non-existent in the rural communities of Haiti. To measure the success of our hypertension program, the team had to develop a record system. They are anxious to get back to Haiti, review these records and assess the success of our hypertension program.  A computerized medical information system, which can be used to teach the proper care of a large number of medical conditions will also be used.

There is a plethora of opportunities to improve medical care in the Cotes-de-Fer region of Haiti. If you would like to become a part of this mission please fill out a volunteer form or support our team by making a donation.

Will You Join Our Mission?

And share your love and compassion for those struggling to survive?
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