May 6, 2019

Blackouts cause urgent need for backup supplies

Political unrest and worsening poverty continue to take their toll on Haiti. The nation's public utility service suffers from inefficiency and technical difficulties on a continuous basis, and blackouts occur almost daily. This means that hospital patients who rely on electrical-powered equipment such as oxygen machines are at high risk. For many infants born prematurely, it literally means the difference between life and death. Konbit Sante is purchasing oxygen containers, along with essential medicines, that can be filled and kept in stock at all times so that when the power fails, there will be back-up oxygen available.

We need additional funding to continue this important work at Justinien University Hospital, which is the largest public hospital in Cap-Haitien and the second-largest in the nation of Haiti. More than 1 million people seek care at this facility. However, essential medicines and emergency oxygen containers are not always available when needed due to lack of financial resources and an undependable supply chain. Even in emergency situations, patients' family members are expected to ask friends and family to contribute money and scour local pharmacies for supplies, losing valuable time. These are preventable deaths—if the medicines and supplies are available, the survival rate is much greater.

By ensuring that essential medicines and supplies are in stock at all times, we can help reduce the number of preventable newborn deaths. We estimate that preventing ruptures of essential medicines and supplies will cost about $15,000 annually.

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Feb 13, 2019

Support helps save young mother and baby

When 15-year-old Daichca became pregnant, she was thrown into a world of chaos. Her aunt with whom she had been living threw her out. The baby's father abandoned her. She had no home, no family support, and no idea how to take care of herself, much less a child.

She felt utterly, completely, alone.

Then one day last September, she attended a mother’s clinic supported by Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership in the Fort Saint Michel community of Cap-Haitien. And she met nurse Josaime Clotilde St Jean, who took her under her wing.

“When you have problem, you call me,” St Jean told her. “No matter what, no matter when—you call me.”

St Jean is a Registered Nurse who has served as Konbit Sante’s community health program manager since 2012. She is responsible for helping organize activities for community outreach clinics in Petite-Anse, one of the city’s poorest communities. With her facilitation and guidance, Daichca received prenatal care and gave birth at the Fort Saint Michel Health Center. Both she and her newborn child are now receiving postnatal care at the health center. All of this has been made possible by Konbit Sante supporters.

Konbit Sante purchases essential supplies and medicines for its partner facilities at lowest possible cost, and endeavors to fill three shipping containers per year. These containers contain everything from hospital beds and examination tables to emergency medical supplies and birthing kits to expectant mothers. We only provide supplies that are requested and needed by our partners to ensure that nothing goes to waste.

Daichca is not unlike hundreds of hundreds of mothers and their children who are helped by Konbit Sante in the Cap-Haitien area every year.

Under the oversight of the Haiti MSPP (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population, commonly known as the Ministry of Health) and with help from Konbit Sante, agents de santé (community health workers) provide education and prenatal examinations to pregnant women, including making referrals for regular checkups and deliveries at FSM, and supporting midwives when the mothers either cannot or choose not to deliver in the hospital. For mothers and children up to age 5, they facilitate postnatal care, including field vaccinations, follow-up exams, and education about topics ranging from family planning to nutrition. If expectant mothers cannot pay for prenatal care at FSM, Konbit Sante arranges for their fees to be waived.

Without Konbit Sante’s help, Daichca may have never received care during her pregnancy, delivered her baby in a hospital, or received follow-up exams after delivery. It’s likely she wouldn’t have known how to care for her child before and after birth. And it’s highly likely that her daughter would not be receiving the health care and nutrition that are so critical to a child’s early years.

We need a steady supply of essential medicines and equipment to ensure that mothers and their children continue to receive the level of care that helped Daichca and her child. The shipping containers are essential to achieving that mission.

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Feb 4, 2019

Infant mortality rate continues to drop

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines like the gray one shown in this photo at lower right are often used for newborns, they can also be used to save the lives of babies up to a few months old. The 3-month-old child in this photo was admitted to the pediatrics department  at Justinien University Hospital in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, after she contrated the flu and began to have troubled breathing. Without out, says her mother, he probably would have died.

The CPAP machine was provided to JUH by Konbit Sante, and was purchased at the lowest possible cost using donations such as yours. By providing essential supplies, equipment, and medicines, the infant mortality rate at the hospital has decreased dramatically. We need additional funding to continue this important work at JUH, which is the largest public hospital in Cap-Haitien and the second-largest in the nation of Haiti. More than 1 million people seek care at this facility.

Essential medicines are not always available when needed at Haitian hospitals due to lack of financial resources and an undependable supply chain. Even in emergency situations, patients' family members are expected to ask friends and family to contribute money and scour local pharmacies for supplies, losing valuable time. These are preventable deaths—if the medicines and supplies are available, the survival rate is much greater.

By ensuring that essential medicines and supplies are in stock at all times, we can help reduce the number of preventable newborn deaths to zero. We estimate that preventing ruptures of essential medicines and supplies will cost about $15,000 annually.

 
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