Small but positive steps in Gonaives.

We are leaving Haiti today. Looking back on the week we (all 6 of us) seem to feel that the trip was very fulfilling and successful.

Kelly and Clara interviewed around 75 school kids to be available for sponsorships by people back here. Father Max has signed up 312 students for the school year.

The new clinic will be ready to open in November. We decided to have the grand opening for it when we return in January. Father Max says that the Episcopal Bishop will come and bless it. This will add to Gonaives’ meager sources of medical care on a permanent daily basis, year round.

The hospital director, Dr St Gilles, has embraced our offer to install the hospital’s existing Xray machine and wants us to design a suite for it which will also include ultrasonography, electrocardiography, portable flouroscopy, and colposcopy (for cervical cancer screening). All of these machines are on the container shipped by Project C.U.R.E. in Denver for us that is still in Port-au-Prince awaiting Customs clearance. (With the exception of the colposcope that Robert Mclean purchased on EBay that is already there in the hospital.)

By the time we return in January they will have it built and Shane plans on bringing the additional electrical panel and wiring and parts necessary to get their machine functional to render the hospital capable of performing Xray again.

As a huge added bonus, he will also install the Xray machine that we shipped (which is on the container in PAP) into our new clinic at that time.

This should make it possible to bring an orthopedic surgery team with us to Gonaives in January, along with our medical and general surgery teams. We also hope to bring a dentist and an optometrist as well.

I also met a Haitian orthopedic surgery resident while I was in the hospital this week and asked him to make me a list of orthopedic supplies or equipment that they need in the hospital, which we can bring with us.

Anyone interested in joining us on that trip should contact us at 719-561-4300.

Unfortunately the container did not clear customs yet. It is still a “work in progress”. But luckily there were plenty of things for us to do without it. This challenge is a big one for all aid organizations trying to get aid and equipment into Haiti.

What? Should it all be easy?

Dr J

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