Below is a story of Emile and Washnika and how your generous donations help the mothers and children in the Artibonite Valley of Haiti:
Emile lives in one of the most remote mountain regions of Haiti. If not for HAS and the care she received from her community health worker, Recerne, Emile and her baby could have died during childbirth.
When Emile realized she was pregnant, she walked to the local community health center to receive prenatal care. During Emile's pregnancy, Recerne and the local community health center worked together to ensure that Emile received appropriate prenatal education, prenatal vitamins, and regular physical examinations.
Late in her pregnancy, Emile fell down and her baby's position in the womb was displaced. Like most rural woman, Emile had chosen to deliver her baby at home with the help of a traditional midwife. But when she went into labor and the birth didn't progress normally, Recerne was at her side and helped make the judgment call with the midwife to transfer her first to the dispensary and then on to the hospital.
Balanced on a door, she was carried by her friends and family from her mountain top two-room home down to the valley floor, a journey of three strenuous hours.
The obstetrician at HAS, Dr. David Jean Louis, quickly ascertained the baby was in acute fetal distress and expertly performed a Cesarean section. Within 25 minutes, her firstborn daughter, Washmika was born. Mother and daughter spent five days in the hospital recovering from the surgery and were surrounded by family eager to meet baby Washmika.
Three months later, Emile and Washmika are well, and are seen regularly for postnatal care counseling and examinations at the HAS community health center in Bastien. Recerne has vaccinated the baby against polio, tuberculosis, tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis and frequently makes home visits to check the health of the little one.
"I am so grateful to HAS because I was unable to have my baby at home. The community-based referral system helped me realize I needed to have my baby in the hospital and allowed me a chance to safely give birth." – Emile
Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) Haiti is grateful for your support for mothers and infants in rural Haiti. Maternal and Child Health is an HAS priority, and factors in to the majority of our hospital community health services. Programs in the hospital include high risk obstetrics, pediatrics and critical nutrition cases. Community based care is available in four community health centers in which HAS provides a variety of services to mothers and children, including pre-natal care and family planning, vaccinations and screenings for infections. Thus, from our community health workers who teach 8,000 women per month about various family health topics to our obstetric surgeons who perform nearly 300 emergency Cesarean sections per year for women with high-risk pregnancies, our team is dedicated to helping women and their families improve their health and quality of life. We provide all of these services at a low cost to the patient to make healthcare accessible to all of the 345,000 residents that live in our district.
This project, in which we raised over $7,000 with the help of caring supporters like you, allowed us to change the lives of 16 women and their families this past April and May. It completely funded the cost of the Cesarean sections for 16 women who came to the hospital during a three-week period with life-threatening complications such as eclampsia and placenta previa. Nearly all of these women’s hospital stays in the high-risk obstetrics ward of the hospital were also paid for in full, saving them and their families the stress of having to pay for a potentially long recovery. In the process of saving these women, their babies were also born safely and went home to begin their lives with their mothers.
Funding these services not only saved the lives of these 16 women and their newborn babies, but indirectly contributed to saving others as well. With budget relief for maternal health services, HAS can more easily fund other services as well. Donations such as these are crucial to allowing HAS to continue to provide excellent service as the only true, 24/7 hospital in our service area. Thank you from HAS for your generous support!
WOY!! (Haitian expression of emotion)
I really thought I was going to see your run of the mill, standard rural hospital. NO. This is a well oiled machine of high standards. The hospital is clean and well laid out. It's quite large actually! It's an entire campus. Hopital Albert Schweitzer is far more than a hospital though! They run educational programs and they have a reforestation program. There are gardens to peruse through and enjoy the botany creations of grafting plants together, a thriving market and a historical house designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wrights students! The staff (ex-pats and Haitian) are more than just professional; they are passionate and FUN. The patients, despite being sick, brighten up when they see the staff because they know they care. Further more, I was incredibly impressed with the language skills of the ex-pats working in country.
The hospital and all related programs supports more than 500 families in the small town of Deschapelles. This allows the employees to put food on the table and put their kids through school. The local people have a trusted place to go when they are sick knowing they will be in good hands. They also have a very impressive prothetics unit. AND (that's right, there's more) they have preventative programs in place to teach mothers how to take care of themselves and their new babies. Education is key. They have family planning, healthy baby, and new mother programs. The best part about the new mother program is that the mothers don't have to come to dispensary's or hopsital to get help. The Hospital sends out representatives to teach mothers in the community...! Totally blown away by the "awesomeness" of this organization! The "Reverence for life" metality is still quite prevelant in the culture of HAS.
I can't wait to come back and visit again!!