Sep 28, 2020

Report #3 Access to healthcare in Rural Haiti

Dr. Elizabeth treating a patient
Dr. Elizabeth treating a patient

September 23, 2020.

Dear friends of the Asosyasyon Peyizan Fondwa (APF):

Thank you for your support of the APF Clinic in the mountains of rural Haiti. As I’m sure you can imagine, due to COVID and political unrest, life at the APF Clinic remains challenging and unusual this year. Yet, we persevere.

While the government of Haiti (GOH) officially lifted the COVID security measures throughout the country, at the APF clinic, Dr. Elizabeth maintains the restrictions of mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand-washing.

This conflict in proposed practices juxtaposed to the reality on the ground, might sound familiar to you in the United States.The same dichotomy exists in our community, and in our country. While Dr. Elizabeth Brea, the clinic Director continues to maintain COVID prevention standards, the population (and even some of the staff) want to think the pandemic is over and that the community is free of disease. There is a need for continuous education about this on her part, and she sticks with it! 

As you can see on the day of vaccination August 20th, no one is wearing masks (PHOTO).

On August 19, 2020, the Ministry of Health installed a special vaccine refrigerator (PHOTO) (TCW 40 SDD) that uses solar panels, no battery, and no inverter. The GOH has GPS on the solar panels to prevent theft, and also a GPS that warns the Ministry of Health how many times the refrigerator is opened. The clinic was instructed the refrigerator could only be opened once a day, and in exceptional cases, twice. The clinic received training on the use and maintenance of the refrigerator, and it should have a ten-year life.  

In August, 106 patients were seen.

  • New patients: 58
  • Successive: 48
  • Under 1-year-old: 46
  • From 1 to 5 years old: 14
  • Adults over 24 years old: 34
  • Pregnant women: 2
  • 4 injured patients were attended who required surgery: 2 patients with motorcycle accidents, 1 injury by machete caused at work. One for an injury caused by an accident at home
  • Acute respiratory infection 6 cases, with 4 suspected cases of COVID that were referred. (It is interesting to note that since respiratory infections are the most frequent reason for consultation, almost no cases were seen. The suspected cases of COVID-19 were referred but there is no feedback from those patients. Prejudices against this disease persists, while at the same time, community members do not take any type of precaution. They believe God will protect them and that they do not need any kind of precautions)
  • High blood pressure: 12
  • Diabetes: 5

In August 40 children, 2 pregnant women and 3 adults came to get vaccinated.

In the month of September, to date on the 23rd, 61 patients have been seen. Sadly, one was an 11-year-old girl who was raped. She was treated, referred to a larger hospital and to psychiatry. Another was a 23-month-old boy with an encephalocele. He was also referred to a larger facility.

We know there is much happening in everyone's communities, and many vulnerable people in need. We pray you will continue to support our much-needed work in our little corner of this beautiful, troubled, world.

New vaccine refrigerator provided by GOH
New vaccine refrigerator provided by GOH
Vaccine day ... notice no one will wear a mask
Vaccine day ... notice no one will wear a mask
Jun 2, 2020

Report #2 on Access to Healthcare in Rural Haiti

Dr. Elizabeth begins training about COVID
Dr. Elizabeth begins training about COVID

A Report from Dr. Elizabeth Bréa

Director of the Fondwa Clinic

Fondwa, Haiti

May 29, 2020


Dear friends of the APF Clinic:

I want to thank you for the support you provide in support of the Asosyasyon Peyizan Fondwa (APF) clinic. With the onslaught of COVID 19 in Haiti, we are going to need your continued partnership in our efforts to provide much-needed healthcare to the residents of rural Haiti.

Since our last report, consultations at the clinic have dropped considerably. However, in our Haiti version of “tele-med”, consultations via phone have increased. The residents in the mountains of Fondwa (and elsewhere in rural Haiti) – where superstition and rumor is ever-present – are afraid to come to the clinic. Because they “heard they may be injected with COVID,” they refuse to even attend vaccination days held by the clinic.

Education and communication about COVID in the rural areas at this time is critical, and you can make it happen. 

The APF clinic has provided COVID training for various community groups throughout the region, as well as, for the University of Fondwa (UNIF). Despite our efforts and education, there remain residents (like in the U.S.), that do not abide by the guidelines of the Government of Haiti Ministry of Health (GOH) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a joint effort with the APF small working groups, local elected officials, the ti machann (local market women), the motorcycle (taxi) drivers, Radio Zetwal (the APF Radio Station), and the St. Antoine Sisters of Fondwa, we are setting up six public water bucket hand-washing stations. The ti machann have committed to providing soap in each station, while the motorcycle taxi drivers will provide the water each day. Radio Zetwal will continue to educate the people in the community about prevention, and what to do in case of infection.

Here is the March activity of the APF Clinic:

Patients Received: 101

  • Children under 5 years: 60
  • Vehicle and other accidents that required minor surgery: 10
  • Severe malnutrition: One 3-year-old girl
  • Diabetes: 4 individuals
  • High blood pressure: 13 individuals
  • Vaccinated: 16 children

 Here is the April activity at the APF Clinic:

  • April Patients seen: 60 (we are seeing a decrease because of COVID fears)
  • Under 5 years: 15
  • Vehicle and other accidents that required minor surgery: 5
  • Malnutrition: Two children less than five years old Diabetes 6
  • High blood pressure: 8 individuals
  • Vaccinated: 5 vaccines administered in 2 children only because of resident’s COVID fears

Thank you for your partnership. We are very much aware that everyone, everywhere, is impacted by this pandemic. You are in our daily thoughts. Please stay safe. 

Social distancing in Haiti is not easy
Social distancing in Haiti is not easy
Mar 3, 2020

Report #1 on Access to Healthcare in Rural Haiti

Dr. E attends to a patient
Dr. E attends to a patient

Greetings from Asosyasyon Peyizan Fondwa (APF). We are pleased to share our first report to the donors that not only made it possible for APF to become permanent partners of GlobalGiving, but who are continuing to fund the APF Clinic.

Soon (at the end of March), we will have exact numbers of people served in the first quarter of 2020, but until those numbers are available, we want to share some stories to give you an idea of the services provided by, and the daily challenges of, the APF clinic in rural Haiti.

Talking to “Dr. E” today, I received an idea of what she encounters day-to-day. While February statistics have not yet been delivered, Dr. E reports that since January, 136 patients have been seen, including 44 children under 5 years old. She also reported that 60 children were vaccinated according to the schedule of the Ministry of Health of Haiti. And, additionally, Dr. E conducted a mobile clinic in Gessome, where she saw 40 patients.The predominate illnesses remain high blood pressure, diabetes, and intestinal parasites.

She reflected on three stories from the past two months.

First, she talked about how many babies and children come to the clinic. The Haiti Ministry of Health encourages people to bring children to clinic on the first Thursday of each month for vaccinations and assessment. Attached is a photo of those women and children at the APF clinic in December. As you can see, the clinic is still under construction, but totally functional.

Dr. E told me of one recent case of a 45-year-old man who came to the consultation with a severe hypertensive crisis, and possible early stroke. APF clinic and Dr. E were able to provide emergency treatment, and the patient was improving within a few hours.

Dr. E also shared a tragic case of a 45-year-old woman, with a fistulae abscess in her neck. Dr. E and the patient consulted several clinics without improvement. Sadly, the patient was hesitant to cooperate and receive treatment. She recently died. Dr. E continues to pursue the pathology of this women, and believes that understanding the underlying cause (possible HIV) of this situation will help her treat others in rural Haiti.

We look forward to sharing more about the work of APF clinic. This is Haiti – which is undergoing a very challenging time – where stories are at times good news and at times sad news. We learn from each case. But, the APF clinic continues to provide access to the care that so many need in rural Haiti.

Dr. E attends to a patient
Dr. E attends to a patient
Nurse assesses a patient
Nurse assesses a patient
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