Archive for June, 2007

Now your shopping budget can get more mileage. Project Medishare has partnered up with Giveline.com, an online store created for the community-minded shopper. Giveline.com offers more than a million bestselling products including books, movies, music, electronics, housewares, gifts and more.

Each purchase generates a substantial donation to Project Medishare- an amazing average of 16 percent of store sales, and sometimes as high as 33 percent. Giveline has great products, great service, and great prices – the only difference between Giveline and other major online retailers is that every purchase earns money for Project Medishare.

Check it out today, and if you decide to buy, remember that Project Medishare will earn significant funds to support a variety of programs in Haiti’s Central Plateau.

Click here to start shopping now and get free shipping by using discount code NCD07 during checkout.

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By Minal Ahson
On our first day of clinic in Haiti’s Central Plateau all of us newbies were a bit unsure of what to expect. Driving to the clinic, we passed through a market with hundreds of people. The driver had to keep honking so we could get through. Everyone kept watching the caravan of SUVs, wondering what all the commotion was about.

We pulled up to the Ministry of Health Dispensary in Casse, which was a strong concrete building with proper rooms to conduct examinations. Little did we know that this would be the most durable building we would be in for the remainder of the week. The rest of the clinics were held in schoolhouses built of wood with large gaps, in which we used benches and whatever else we could find to separate “examination rooms.”

Patients were already lined up, waiting for us. I was told that many of them had walked miles to see us. We were thrown in right away, seeing patients with the physicians. Working through a translator was interesting. It was amazing how quickly we began to pick up bits of Creole and understand certain common symptoms.

The cases themselves were very different from what we would see in the US. We saw two children with TB (chronic cough, night sweats, occipital nodes), a Scarlet fever sandpaper rash, and lichenification of the skin caused by a fungal infection. Some of the mothers just wanted reassurance that their babies were healthy and that they were doing a good job feeding and raising them. One case that I will always remember vividly was a lady who was somehow brought to the clinic showing signs of a stroke (hemiplegia, ptosis). She could not walk without support and was unresponsive. The doctors realized that she needed to be rushed to the hospital in town where there were resources to treat her. It really makes me wonder – how many people with similar problems are not as fortunate? How much of an impact does the lack of resources have on the healthcare of the population? It’s reassuring to know that Project Medishare is in the process of creating sustainable health care infrastructure in the region.

As we were leaving the clinic after a long day of seeing about 200 patients, local village kids were standing near the vans. They were so excited to see and take pictures with us. They especially liked to see their faces on the digital camera screen. They kept staring at me and trying to speak to me in Creole. Finally I asked Project Medishare Director, Ellen Powers how to say “sing” in Creole and they started singing for me.

I can already tell that this experience is going to influence my life goals even further. I am so thankful that I had this opportunity.

Minal Ahson is a student at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. She traveled with Project Medishare to Haiti in December 2006.

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Ground breaking began this week for the construction of the Medical Complex and Training Center for Childhood Nutrition and Treatment in Thomonde. Of the $422,000 donated so far, the University of Miami Rotaract raised $122,000.

The Medical Complex & Training Center will consist of three facilities: the Akamil Production Facility, the Childhood Nutrition Treatment Center and an education and training center. The complex is located near the community hospital on 4 acres of land.

The Akamil Production Facility will manufacture and distribute AKA1000, – often referred to as Akamil, – a mix of locally-grown products such as cereals (rice, corn, millet, wheat) and vegetables (beans) all blended into powder. It is a product of great nutritious value containing building and energetic nutrients, and is affordable to poor families. With the expert consultation of a nutritionist, the finished product will be fortified with a mix of important vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and Vitamin A.

Having been introduced in the 1970s, Akamil is well-known and accepted in Haiti. AK-1000 is an energetic and constructive food with a satisfying nutritional value that fills the deficits currently observed among children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and TB/HIV patients in Haiti.

The Treatment Center of Advanced Childhood Malnutrition will collaborate with the full-service medical facility in Thomonde to stabilize and restore these childhood cases to the point where they can return home. Both the child and their caregiver will be housed in a designated residential section of the center for as long as three months. In addition, the center will offer follow-up care and referral as needed.

The center will also provide consistent, comprehensive nutrition education in collaboration with the community health medical team to help mitigate future cases.

The Education and Training Center will consist of a conference room, offices for the community health program administration, and lodging for visiting medical volunteers. The conference room and center will be the nutrition education site for all health workers in the central department. The second floor lodging will allow for hundreds of volunteers to spend extended periods of time in Haiti.

Project Medishare still needs to raise $1.4 million over the next three years to fund the project. Click here to donate now.

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