Haiti: Hurricane Matthew Relief Effort
Teaching Healthcare Through Music: July-December 2017
March 15, 2018
Dr. Patrick Dupont
Summary of Activities
Medical Treatment and Community Outreaches
Thus far, in installments over a 4-year period, 60 children have received specialized elective surgery, including preoperative biological and imaging screening, as well as follow-up visits, radiographic evaluation, and wound dressings to treat their conditions. Their complete treatment from screening to final healing has been made possible at a mere fraction of what these procedures would cost, allowing these children to be rehabilitated in such a way that their own future and contribution to society can be greatly improved.
Now with the help of our dedicated surgical team; a responsible and socially conscious hospital, Centre Hospitalier Sainte Marie (CHSM); new health education partner SPEC Institute; and support from LDS Charities, RMF has been able to implement a larger community outreach project, which we believe can greatly impact improved access to quality care and be a stepping stone towards a sustainable model of social involvement of the private healthcare sector for the benefit of all.
Community Outreach & Rehabilitation Effort (CORE)
With primary funding pledged to RMF’s activities in Haiti after Hurricane Mathew’s destructive path through the southern portion of the country in 2016, we decided to capitalize on our goals as well as CHSM’s vision and care programs to implement a Community Outreach and Rehabilitation Effort (CORE) project.
The CORE project has 6 major components, all connecting cogs working together to provide the following services:
- Empowering education to prevent communicable diseases
- Affordable family and emergency care to treat conditions endemic in these population groups
- Surgical care to increase the level of services available to low-income families
- Mobile clinics to bring health care directly to communities
- Secure regular monitoring of health indexes and finally a disaster relief program already in place and quickly deployable when needed
Two of the envisioned 6 components of this community outreach project were fully developed between the summer of 2017 and the first months of 2018, as the health education and orthopedic surgical programs have continued to move forward and make great advances.
Health Education Program
Establishing Health Clubs
The end of 2017 saw the completion of our first healthcare education mission, where we focused our efforts on establishing viable health clubs in communities reached through the development of the ADYS program (Ale Di Yo Sa, literally translated “Go Tell Them This”). This innovative healthcare message delivery system is simple and efficient. During the implementation of the health clubs in the communities, the outreach teams sang and taught 10 folks songs to the children and adults registering and participating in the club’s activity.
Orthopedic Surgical Program
New Partnerships and Practices
Selection and screening of new patients continued throughout the end of the year 2017, but the first previously selected 10 children could not be treated during the December vacation because of social and civil unrest. After meeting with the Ministry of Health and Population and other social organizations likely to require our surgical services, RMF decided to implement a new approach and practice regular monthly surgeries, scheduled as the patients become available for treatment instead of our previous 1- to 2-week sessions.
2017 Health Festival
Learning Through Music
The program also played a key role in the realization of a mass awareness activity: the 2017 Health Festival. The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Population and numerous organizations and institutions participated. It is estimated that over 700 people attended the Health Festival. Attendees received valuable information on preventive health measures and learned about our health outreach program and educational songs.
Starting a Radio Show
Spreading Healthcare Information
Among the other accomplishments of the program, a weekly radio show discussing health topics and interviewing healthcare professionals has been implemented and continues to broadcast on a regular basis.
Global Handwashing Day
Creating Community Engagement
To celebrate Global Handwashing Day on October 15, the program launched community activities in the locations where the outreach team was implementing the health club that day, including Port-au-Prince, Pétion-Ville, and especially Carrefour. Through education and demonstration, a total of 6,000 hands were washed.
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Family and Emergency Care
RMF Haiti’s goal is to implement a program which will provide access to comprehensive and quality care to selected Haitian families through a careful process of selection, fitting the criteria chosen to render them eligible to benefit from this component.
Capitalizing on Centre Hospitalier Sainte Marie’s family care program, Familles en Santé (Healthy Families), we want to sponsor an initial 1,500 carefully screened low or no-income families in this program and progressively increase the numbers of RMF-sponsored subscribers to reach 3,000 families by 2019. The prepaid package of this coverage will include outpatient, hospital, and even minor surgery services for a total of 6,000 Haitian families of up to 5 members (2 adults and 3 children).
The cost for this package is evaluated at a monthly contribution of $50.00 per family, with a 10% co-pay for the services provided to each family member subscribed to the program, which will cover outpatient consultations, basic outpatient biological and imaging exams, and oral medications for outpatient treatment protocols. Any additional family member (child) will require a $10.00 additional monthly fee. This program, coupled with the emergency coverage program, can effectively provide access to and delivery of quality healthcare for these usually forgotten members of the target Haitian population.
For the emergency care program, rather than targeting specific age groups and maladies as we are doing for the surgical component, we came to the conclusion that allocating an emergency fund would be the best option to support all treatments provided by Centre Hospitalier Sainte Marie (CHSM) to low and no-income patients that visit the emergency room. This option would also best serve the goals of making emergency care readily available to these specific populations at risk, while trimestral or quarterly reports will be provided by CHSM, detailing the patients treated thanks to this emergency fund.
Our goal between 2018 and 2019 is to ensure the accomplishment of the following activities:
- Treat 20 surgical cases by the end of 2019.
- Continue implementation of our innovative health education program during the whole year, relying on the creation and facilitation of health clubs in the targeted communities and the popularization of our “good health habits through songs” audiovisual messages.
- Add implementation of our family and emergency care components, offering these services to more than 6,000 families of up to 5 members, including an emergency package through a dedicated fund for this subsidized population of up to 30,000 people with low or no income.
- Develop mobile health clinics in all the communities reached by CORE. This is to be accomplished in the long-term, implemented by continuing to establish key groups (health clubs) in all these regions, where our disaster response unit will follow through and implement rapid and standardized responses in case of catastrophe.