2017 Medical Progress

2017 Medical Progress

One of the most exciting aspects of the HCDP is the ability for short-term groups to plug in and support the long-term work here in meaningful ways. Not only is this encouraging for our staff here on the ground, but it also lends a deeper purpose to short-term trips.

Though medical mission’s teams can provide temporary relief to many, often they are not able to provide lasting solutions to major health concerns. A good example of this is hypertension (high blood pressure). When high blood pressure is detected in a patient, they need lasting treatment with a consistent supply of medication. Instead of giving a month’s worth of medication and hoping for patients to seek further treatment at a hospital or clinic, HCDP has helped train and hire community health workers Olina and Fedeline to provide the follow-up care these patients need!

Recent improvements in record keeping and organization have enabled our health workers to be more consistent in their treatment. As a result, we pre-screened 4 communities before HCDP’s short-term health team arrived, and regular participants of the Hypertension program were served first, receiving the care they needed.

Even more exciting was the referral system used during the mobile clinics. In communities where HCDP has a hypertension program, potential candidates for care were given a referral card with information about the date and time for our next visit. Through this referral process, we have added more than 25 people to our program. The need is great, and the Hypertension Program now has more than 75 regular participants. Through good dietary advice and management with medication, many people with critically high blood pressures have been able to reach a more stable level.

A second example of short-term serving long-term has been coming to fruition at Clinic Jubilee, in downtown Gonaives. Partnership between Dr. Smith and clinic director Cody Smith led to the donation of lab equipment and training for staff who serve some of the neediest in the Gonaives area. Over the course of three trips in a year, James Strother, Nancy Cornwell, and Lindsay Gilbert set up equipment and trained staff members on various lab procedures, including urine testing and blood draws. In a recent visit to Clinic Jubilee, I was thrilled to see Lab Technician Jonas perform an excellent blood draw and professionally and kindly serve a patient. It’s exciting to see months of prayer, coordination, training, and logistics pay off so that even more Haitians can have an opportunity for basic healthcare in Gonaives.

What a thrilling prospect that the work done by those who came in February can be continued by Olina and Fedeline, along with the health teachings provided by Fefe and John. How beautiful to see Jonas and the lab at Jubilee serving so many so well. And their work is not limited to Blood Pressure and health teaching – every single week the Gospel is preached, and service is accompanied by truth. The long term medical care continues to open doors for the good news in rural communities where gaining trust and building relationships are key to establishing the church.

Thank you to all of our volunteers who supported HCDP to help these medical programs come to life. In 2017 we anticipate another year of God’s favor, blessing, mercy, and grace. Your gifts have allowed us to be His hands, His feet, and His voice to the people of Haiti.