By Evens Mesadieu
Marmont, HAITI– My experience on my first day in Haiti’s Central Plateau was beyond expected. I have been able to take vital signs, and work with patients on health education.
For instance, I have run into a couple cases of scabies. I told one the mothers that when she gets home she needs to wash the clothes of all the children including the parents, avoid their children to play with other children, and follow proper hygiene techniques. The mother will need to apply a topical solution called Lidane at night for three nights from head to toe and leave it on until morning, then give the child a shower to remove the medication. After the three nights if scabies persist the mother needs to bring the child back to the office.
I have noticed that the doctors in Haiti do not rush the patients out of the office, but encourage them to talk more about the reason for their visit. Although many were waiting in the waiting room, doctors did not hurry their patients through their appointments. In my opinion this is how healthcare should be delivered, and I wish that I could receive such care in the United States.
Another great thing that I liked in the Marmont clinic was the clinical protocol the doctors followed. For example, while waiting to see the doctor, a nurse or healthcare worker would take the patient’s vitals (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, etc.). If a patient had blood pressure higher that 150/90 he or she would receive a dose of Captoril instantly. If a baby has fever higher than 100 degrees he or she would receive a dose of anti-pyretic medication immediately, allowing the patient to get relief from his or her symptoms while waiting for the doctors to see them.
* Evens Mesadieu is a nursing student with the University of Miami. A Haitian-American, Mesadieu hasn’t returned to Haiti since leaving eight years ago.