Supplying Critical Water for Haitian Hospital

Jul 11, 2014

Chlorinator water pump installed, supplies shipped

This June, Konbit Sante volunteer Mike O'Neill carried down a chlorinator water pump that needed to be replaced, and along with Haitian staff and Konbit Sante Executive Director Nate Nickerson and Josue Limprevil, they installed the new pump. This pump is responsible for chlorinating water after it is pumped up from a well that is then distributed throughout the Justinien University Hospital.

In the meantime, Konbit Sante volunteers in Maine are getting a shipping container ready with infrastructure supplies so that the next volunteer trip in the fall of 2014 can focus on maintenance and repairs.   

The agenda for the next trip includes:

  • performing maintenance on the hospital sterilizer
  • conducting testing at all 3 hospital wells
  • furthering the design of a new Haitian health clinic in Bande du Nord, on the outskirts of Cap- Haitien

There is a new disease, chikungunya, that has spread to Haiti. It is transmitted by the same mosquitoes that carry dengue fever. So it is increasingly important to focus on controlling wastewater around the Justinien University Hospital. 

We can be reached at (207) 347-6733 and with any questions, concerns or to find out more about donating supplies or volunteering.

Feb 3, 2014

Spring 2014 Trip Planned!

We are currently scheduling a trip for April 2014 of technical volunteers to travel to Cap- Haitien to assist with water, sanitation and other improvements.

Currently, we have three engineers, a master electrician and a biomedical technician joining local Konbit Sante staff in Haiti.  If you are interested in learning about volunteer opportunities, please contact us directly at 347 6733. 

The agenda for this trip is quite extensive.  It includes:

  • Troublehooting design issues for a new health center in Bande du Nord
  • Fixing broken biomedical equipment
  • Conducting general maintenance on hospital sterilizers 
  • Completing an assessment of water services for the entire Justinien University Hospital (JUH)
  • Repairing and improving the three hospital water pumps that provide water for the JUH

The Justinein University Hospital recently moved the primary cholera treatment center ( CTC) for the north to the hospital campus.  This emphasizes the increasing importance of providing water and sanitation services.

We will follow this report with direct testimonials from volunteer participants and photos of our work. In the meantime, please contact us directly with any questions or concerns at:

Konbit Sante Cap- Haitien Health Partnership

(207) 347 6733

Oct 24, 2013

Fall 2013 Update- Improvements Underway!

Our infrastructure team of Jeff Musich, Hugh Tozer and Bob MacKinnon, are headed back down to Cap Haitien today, October 23rd, 2013, for a quick trip. As per usual, their agenda is quite full.

Our primary objective this trip is to work with our Haitien colleagues to make repairs to the operating room sterilizer. The installation of this machine and its associated water and power systems, was the primary focus of our work for the past two years. It is used for the sterilization of the instruments used in the surgeries for the hospital. Our goal is to not only repair the machine, but also to provide the training to the hospital staff to do the routine maintenance on this machine. If time allows, we will be doing a property survey and preliminary site assessment for a new medical clinic in a nearby rural village in Cap Haitien. Rounding out our projects is to plan the layout and installation of oxygen in the Pediatric Building at the Justinian Hospital in Cap Haitien.

We are also exploring a trip of engineers, biomedical technicians, and electricians for 2014. If you are interested in learning about volunteer opportunities, please contact us directly at 347 6733.

Although our volunteers offer technical expertise and assistance and are valued greatly, it is only in tandem with our Haitian staff and partners that the day to day work happens. This is what konbit sante means in Kreyol- working together for health.

Jun 19, 2013

Water & Sanitation Supplies Headed to Haiti

Dear friends of Konbit Sante,

Next Friday, June 28th, we will be sending our 15th shipping container from Portland Maine to the Justinien University Hospital in Cap- Haitien, Haiti.   This container includes over $400,000 in medicines, a large amount of biomedical equipment, including an anesthesia machine, 5 infany incubators, EKG machines and cardiac and fetal monitors, and over 1100 birthing kits.

The container also includes a number of pieces of equipment that will be prepositioned for our volunteers and staff who will be working on water and sanitation improvements.  We have recently purchased 600 ft of wire, 16 grounding rods and a number of tools including an antique crescent wrench. 

US volunteers plan to travel to Cap Haitien sometime in October 2013.  They plan to install the electrical equipment to protect the electrical supply to the biomedical equipment being shipped.  They also plan to conduct a hospital wide survey of water access and plumbing on the entire hospital campus.  Lastly, they will provide needed maintenance and continued training for the three wells that were dug and the pumps attached to them, as well as the industrial hospital sterilizer that was installed this past winter that is being used on a daily basis. 

We thank you for your ongoing support.  We invite people to explore olunteering opportunities with us. Providing access to water at the Justinien Hospital is a long term partnership between Konbit Sante staff, our volunteers and local staff at the hospital and we all thank you for your support.

You can contact us with questions or concerns at 347 6733

Feb 13, 2013

Major Advances Accomplished! January 2013

Three volunteer engineers from Maine traveled to the Justinien Hospital this Januaruy to work with Konbit Sante and Justinien Hospital staff to improve the water situation at the Justinien Hospital.   

The electrical company - EDH - continues to supply poor quality power to the hospital.  Only one of the three phases is working well, which means that 3-phase equipment (e.g., the JUH well #1, the refrigeration system in the morgue and the SOP sterilizer) only works when the hospital runs its generator.  
The well pump, which KS installed a few years ago, was no longer working.  It might have been damaged by the poor power, but we don't know for sure.  Instead of replacing the pump with another needing 3-phase power, KS installed a new pump with a single-phase motor.  This means the well will work whether EDH or the hospital is supplying power.  
We worked with one of the local electricians, to install the electrical work for the new pump and with two others on the plumbing.  The pump is now working.

The other well pump was also having problems caused by the poor EDH power.  It runs on 220V and it wasn't getting the power it needed.  We switched the circuit breaker to the phase that was working and made a few other electrical changes.  The hospital now has three operational pumps - two electrical and one hand!

Konbit Sante volunteers also completed a major project that they have been working on over numerous trips. After receiving specialized training in the US this fall, our volunteers finalized and completed the installation of a very large hospital grade sterilizer.   This sterilizer increases the ability of the entire hospital to sterilize surgical and medical equipment, reducing the spread of infection.

These volunteers have returned regularly and have accomplished exceptional improvements, in partnership with staff at the hospital.  We will be meeting in March to conduct an evaluation of the work completed and help finalize a plan for next steps for the coming year.    Haiti has been in the news often, but one rarely hears of successes, and Konbit Sante as an organization would like to thank our donors and our volunteers who work alongside Haitian staff to make lasting improvements together.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support!

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Project Leader

Danny Muller

Project Manager
Portland, Maine United States

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Map of Supplying Critical Water for Haitian Hospital