Archive for April, 2008

This Mother’s Day you have an excellent opportunity to honor the special women in your life by showing your support for the mother’s of Haiti’s Central Plateau. This year instead of sending flowers, perfumes, or chocolates give a gift that makes a difference by donating to Project Medishare’s Akamil program.

In light of the recent food riots happening all over Haiti, Project Medishare is working to go beyond emergency food aid by developing the Akamil facility coupled with an agriculture program to provide training, tools, and support to local farmers in order for them to produce crops for themselves. By doing this local farmers will be able to move from subsistence farming to cash crops creating not only an economic boost for the community but a nutritional one as well. The nutritional supplement produced at the Akamil facility will also provide food to mothers in order to help them raise a healthy child.
The Akamil facility will also provide:

* Nourishment for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis patients

* Daily nutrition for 200,000 individuals in Haiti’s Central Plateau

* Sustainable operating revenue

* Support 3000 local farmers helping them transition from subsistence farming to cash crop farming.

* Entrepreneurial opportunities for women merchants in the plateau

Honoring your mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, stepmother, aunt, sister, or friend with a gift to Project Medishare helps us honor the women of Haiti’s Central Plateau by giving them the tools to increase the economic and nutritional welfare of their community.

For a gift of $25 or more, we will send a Mother’s Day note to a special woman in your life, letting her know that a donation has been made in her honor. The women of Thomonde will appreciate your thoughtful gift which will help them raise healthy children so that their community can have a brighter tomorrow.

This year Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11. To ensure that your note is mailed on time, we must receive your donation by Friday, May 2. Click here to make your donation now. Once you have donated, email Gabriele Denis (gaby@projectmedishare.org) with the address(es) of those you are honoring so they may receive their Mother’s Day note.

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Once There Was A Country: Revisiting Haiti, a film by noted philanthropist and Miami local, Kimberly Green will air on Miami’s WPBT-TV, Channel 2 at 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 15. The film narrated by former U.S. poet laureate Dr. Maya Angelou and Guy Johnson, the 55-minute film examines the economic and health issues plaguing Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Green is president of the Green Family Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Steven J. Green.

“It was not until I first traveled to Haiti in 2001 that I learned of the incredible struggles and hardships that the people of Haiti, our neighbors, face every day. I knew immediately that these were stories that needed to be told,” Green said. “I am grateful to the team at PBS for creating an opportunity to further raise awareness of the crisis in Haiti. When PBS viewers watch Once There Was A Country: Revisiting Haiti, it is my hope that they too will be moved and inspired to join me in trying to make a difference.”

Currently, the Green Family Foundation plays an active role in funding community-driven health and development programs in Haiti. Project Medishare, featured in Once There Was a Country: Revisiting Haiti and a GFF funded organization, are now expanding their services to supplement the community health program, and have broken ground on the Medical Complex and Training Center for Childhood Nutrition and Treatment in Thomonde, Haiti. For more information on how to help, visit www.greenff.org or www.projectmedishare.org.

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By Amanda Harrington, MD

This morning after another hearty breakfast we headed out of Thomonde proper for a more remote area. The trip was shorter than yesterday, but the road was significantly more “bumpy.” As each SUV navigated the struts in the road, we watched to see if the vehicle ahead would clear the “bump” with spinning tires and less than four wheels in contact with the ground.

We set up clinic at a school and divided up patients into pediatrics, general adult, ophthalmology, or women’s health stations. Today, myself, Gaby (our trip coordinator and a wonderful translator) and Kavita (a first year medical student) tackled the mass of adults seeking treatment for a variety of medical illnesses. We diagnosed patients with upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, anemia, hypertension, GERD, and many post-traumatic musculoskeletal conditions. As a team we had fun teaching Gaby to take blood pressures and letting Kavita hone her history and physical exam skills.

I was surprised and excited to learn that most of the patients we saw with severe hypertension had been diagnosed previously and had been on anti-hypertensive medications. Many presented with the chief complaint “I have high blood pressure” and had come to the mobile clinic seeking refills on medications. I found myself thinking back to my first trip to Haiti with Project Medishare in 2001, when I myself was a second year medical student. Back then, Medishare clinics were held in central Thomonde. There was no hospital, and beyond the direct observed therapy programs, there were no community health agents in place to assist with patient follow-up. Seven years ago, there was little hope that newly diagnosed hypertensive patients would return for medication refills when their 30-day supply was completed. Now, under the improved structure which Medishare provides, patients are developing relationships with community health agents and beginning to understand basic concepts related to disease and regular treatment. It is exciting to know that progress is possible, and that chronic disease treatment can be a reality in the future.

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