May 2011 Terrier Rouge
To address these problems EMEDEX in conjunction with Bethlehem ministries hosted a two-day conference at Clinique Esperance et Vie in Terrier Rouge for healthcare representatives from Haiti’s north and northeast regions. Forty representatives from various organizations and health entities including Dr. Jean Denis Pierre, Director of the Northeast Department of Health, attended the conference to organize a regional network for the provision of healthcare in the north and the northeast. This conference was the first meeting of its kind in the area.
Members identified challenges and recommendations for three primary areas of focus for improving the provision of healthcare in the region: regional communication and networking; emergency response education; and an affordable and effective emergency first response transportation system. A multidisciplinary task force was created known as Le Comite Regional de Collaboration de Services Sanitaires – a group comprised of the different conference participants and the Northeast regional Ministry of Health (Dr Jean Denis Pierre) that is focused on improving the provision of healthcare in the region. The committee will meet regularly to work towards solutions for the three areas identified.
The committee has been asked to put together a similar presentation specifically for the Northeast Ministry of Health that will involve more stakeholders and potential sponsors to help develop a regional health care system. We are in the process of setting a date for the next meeting.
It was also agreed that there exist real barriers, both financial and otherwise, to immediately implementing a fully functional modern ambulance servcie with dedicated and fully equipped vehicles. More urgently, it was decided to train the de facto ambulance workers of the region--the tap tap drivers. This has been done before in West Africa, where truck drivers were trained and eventually transitioned to the role of local ambulance service, and it was felt that we could do the same in rural Haiti.
From May 6-8, EMEDEX conducted a two day First Aid and modified CPR course taught to northeast area tap-tap drivers, laborers, community health workers, nurses and students (72 students total – 21 drivers). Instructors for the course included EMEDEX members and a few Haitian instructors that were trained by EMEDEX members in August 2010. Areas of focus for the course included bleeding control, splinting/immobilization, in-line stabilization, transporting injured patients and management of choking. The goal was to train drivers and laborers to be used as a foundation for a civilian Emergency Response System. We also conducted a disaster drill with mock scenario (mudslide in northeast Haiti), where participants had to identify and stabilize wounded victims using all the skills taught in the course, including using the drivers trucks as a mode of transportation.
The next phase will involve expanding and standardizing the curriculum, preparing Haitian Creole speaking trainers to teach independently and thereby expand the program's reach. Our goal is for this project to serve as a model for emergency medical response in resource poor regions of rural Haiti.
Prior reports from Haiti:
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