Project Medishare, based at the University of Miami, is a nonprofit organization that has been working in Haiti since 1994. For many years, their work in Haiti focused on clean water programs, community health, vaccinations, nutrition programs and special surgery. When the earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince in January 2010, Medishare quickly set up a tent hospital at the airport grounds to care for the injured. This was possible because of Medishare's longstanding presence in the community as well as local governmental cooperation. This ISHI team, with the desire to assist in post-earthquake relief, volunteered at the Medishare Hospital. The objective of this mission was to assist with the medical and surgical care of the sick and injured post-earthquake at the Medishare Tent Hospital.
Emergency supplies airfreighted to Port-au-Prince airport. Haiti modest infrastructures could not handle the sudden increase in air traffic in response to the eartquake.
Dr. Asha Bale and Dr. Sayeed operating at the Medishare Tent Hospital in Port au Prince. Free surgical care was provided for patients after the earthquake.
MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT FOR THE MISSION:
A newborn baby girl resting safely in the arms of Dr. Leonard Mason at the General Hospital in Port au Prince
ISHI did not have to bring supplies on this mission, as the hospital was well supplied through Project Medishare and University of Miami..
"The destruction that we witnessed in Haiti has made us realize that this world is not a force to be reckoned with….it is fragile, and it is unpredictable…..but the people on it are strong and resilient… many of us ask ourselves… What will happen now? When people stop coming here to help…when the news of this tragedy quiets down…when no one will donate to charitable causes…what then? What we did was so so small in comparison to how much work is needed here…It became apparent to me that the people in impoverished countries really don't stand a chance….with malnutrition, lack of education, to lack of jobs, and government corruption….But as people continue to come and spread the word of how much help is needed here….maybe Haiti will not be forgotten…I hope that all of you who read this and the rest of our blogs will some day, maybe soon decide to come here because it is so worth it….it makes you so grateful for your health, for your family, for food that you put on your table, for a roof over your head, for people around you who support you and love you no matter what…"
Emilia Wawsczyk, RN - ISHI Volunteer
TEAM ORGANIZATION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Following the earthquake, over 300,000 homes were destroyed in the Port-au-Prince area. Tent camps were built all around the city to shelter the victims
This Haiti mission was unique in the sense that the team did not work as a "team" once we arrived at the hospital. Each team member had specific skills that were useful in specific areas of the hospital. Drs. Asha Bale and Leonard Mason worked in the operating room (OR), and when there were no cases, they volunteered in the ER or outpatient areas. Scrub technician Yvette Jupiter worked in the OR both with our team as well as other surgical teams from all across the country. Nurse Mona Nelson worked in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as this hospital was the only one in the city equipped with ventilators. Nurse Cathy Blaskewicz worked in the outpatient area and nurses Emilia Wawszcyk and Jhoselyn Thomas worked in the emergency room or ER area. Dr. Nina Regevik and nurse Diana Eagen worked in the inpatient ward. The work was non stop as people kept pouring in seeking medical help for reasons unrelated to the earthquake.
THE TEAM MEMBERS
This ISHI team was made of 9 volunteers (l to r): Cathy Balskewicz RN (APN) Dr. Asha Bale (surgeon and team leader) Dr. Nina Regevik (Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine) Emilia Wasczyck RN Diana Eagen RN Jocelyn Ritto RN Mona Nelson RN Dr. Leonard Mason (surgical resident) Yvette Jupiter (Scrub Tech)..
On an average day, there were: 10 surgeries
250 patients evaluated in the outpatient triage area
50 patients evaluated in the Emergency room area
250 patients seen and managed in the inpatient wards