Haiti: Orthopedic Surgical Program
Striving Towards Future Goals: October 2016
October 16, 2016
Dr. Patrick Dupont
Summary of Activities
Haiti’s healthcare system remains very disorganized. Despite efforts undertaken by the Haitian Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP), funding and logistical help from international organizations in many areas of the country, and numerous NGO-run primary care centers in many of Haiti’s ten regional departments, access to care, let alone quality care, remains, at best, limited and dysfunctional.
In the public sector, hospitals and healthcare centers are plagued with a chronic lack of funding and scarcity of medical supplies. Consequently, patient care is often limited and dependent on a family’s capacity to buy, out-of-pocket, the needed supplies for treatment. The necessary funding to cover emergency management and treatment is significant and seriously insufficient. Most of the middle class is not prepared to handle such emergency situations, and for the previously mentioned low to no-income population, it is a death sentence in many situations, especially if public hospitals are unable to provide adequate urgent care.
RMF’s Presence in Haiti
From the time of the devastating January 2010 earthquake, Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) has been at the forefront of funding and working towards improving areas of deficient primary and secondary care, with the long-term goal of implementing and contributing to the creation of sustainable, efficient, quality controlled healthcare models accessible to Haitians of all income levels.
A New Location for the Program
We have been exploring ways to partner with Centre Hospitalier Sainte Marie (CHSM) since before their opening in 2015, and the first partnership we agreed upon came when we decided to move our successful orthopedic surgical program, previously hosted at Lambert Santé, to their facility for its 4th installment in 2016 and 2017. This setting offers, we believe, the perfect partnership conditions to implement meaningful social programs in the community and offer quality care to a larger portion of the Haitian population normally cut off from these basic rights.
4 Years of Ongoing Care
Comprehensive Corrective Procedures
RMF’s Surgical Program has been successful in Haiti for the past 4 years and continues developing, currently offering comprehensive orthopedic surgical treatment to low or no-income families with children presenting limb deviations or deformities. This surgical program carefully selects children with a debilitating illness (congenital or acquired and affecting their limbs), allows for their biological and imaging screening, and provides corrective surgical procedures to treat their condition.
4th Installment of Program
Implement the 4th installment of this surgical program at CHSM in a 4-month period, allowing for the evaluation and surgical treatment of 100 selected children with severe or complex limb deviations or deformities.
A full and comprehensive care package will include:
- Pre-operative biological screening
- Pre-op and immediate post-op x-rays
- Pre-op screening and anesthesia management
- Pre-op screening and surgical procedure by a team of 2 surgeons
- 24-hour to 48-hour hospital stay including medications and medical supplies
- Operating ward usage including medications and medical supplies
- Follow-up visits, evaluations, wound dressing, and casting management
- Follow-up x-rays and assessment
- Complete case documentation (before and after pictures, videos, and case report)
Mid-Term to Long-Term Goals
Targeting New Patients
- Implement the abovementioned orthopedic surgical coverage as a biannual program installment of 60 patients each, targeting 120 new patients treated each year.
- Increase the scope of the procedures available from the current orthopedic surgeries to include other pediatric surgical conditions.
In the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 earthquake, in addition to tackling some of the immediate relief needs, RMF moved forward with a comprehensive long-term strategy for sustainable health services development in Haiti to help rebuild its shattered public health system. Six years have passed since most of Haiti’s infrastructure was devastated, and while much progress has been made in rubble clearing and somewhat in rebuilding efforts, there is still much work to be done. Our new Surgical Support program is providing surgeries and follow-up treatment for children and adults in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
- To provide free clinical services at Hôpital Lambert Santé Surgical Clinic in Pétion-Ville.
- To provide care for patients with severe conditions and deformities, while focusing on improving their overall health, functionality, and optimizing their chances to thrive as active members of their communities.
- To increase overall access to quality secondary and tertiary care for the entire Haitian population.