Visit to Gonaives

We arrived here in Gonaives Sunday afternoon, at the rectory of the episcopal church (Our normal home here). Six of us. Yesterday (Monday, Sep 13), we went to the hospital to assess the situation.

The container with our own Xray and other equipment on it has made it to Port-au-Prince, but no further since the 2nd. The hospital, however, does have an Xray machine that is brand new, sitting there in the box since May with no one to put it together or install the electrical panel on the front of the hospital and run the power wiring to it. Evidently it arrived soon after we left in April. Fortunately Shane, our Xray tech from Denver thinks he is going to be able to get it assembled this week while we are here but they don’t have the electrical panel nor wire to get power to it. They say it isn’t available in Haiti. But since he’s here, he can tell us what he needs to come back in January and make it work. Oh and the hospital sterilizer is also not working, due to need for a better power line to it!
I’m trying to wrap my mind around that now. We will bring extra electrical wire to get that working too.

The girls, Kelly and Clara, with interpreter Mario, interviewed kids at the school, gave them Crocs and school supplies etc. They are resurrecting the ‘sponsor a kid for a year for $150’ project at our church in Pueblo. It will be good.

The clinic now has a roof on it, and the inside plastering, wiring, and finish work is underway. Fr Max estimates completion around October. We have supplies for it already stored here and much more on the container with exam tables and beaucoups equipment for it. (Looks like we could find an Xray machine for it, even). Fr Max and I will discuss hiring nurses and a part time physician for it this week. It is exciting to see!

We met today with the Ministry of Health Director for the region. We discussed the start up of the clinic, Xray and other equipment for the hospital, our orthopedic mission planned for the 3rd week of January, and she asked about our brief discussion last March, when I first met her, regarding organizing a physician exchange program of some sort. Unfortunately I really hadn’t had time to do much with that yet, but promised to discuss it with her in more detail by email. Meanwhile, she told us that plans to construct a new hospital are moving forward.

I introduced her to Dr Bob Hilgers, GYN-Oncologist from Louisville, KY, with whom we have been partnering to start a ‘see and treat’ cervical cancer screening project in Gonaives. She was quite accepting of the idea, and we had a very nice visit with her.

Tomorrow the girls will interview more kids at the school while Barry, Shane and I tackle some painting in the new clinic.

Meanwhile, the home contingent of H4H back in Pueblo is ramping up in full swing for the 3rd annual fund-raising dinner and auction October 16th. We are trying to put our auction items on line this year!

More soon,

Dr Jim

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