By Susie Hartl
Thomonde, HAITI–This trip to Haiti has really opened my eyes! Today we participated in a rally post which is a program where community leaders and the Project Medishare join together at several sites in the community to provide various forms of primary healthcare.
When we first arrived, we sat in on an educational program given by the community leader. The program focused on the teachings of preventive care for such concerns as parasites, hygiene, and nutrition. The community leader later asked questions at the end of session to analyze the group’s comprehension of the teachings and to open the discussion to additional concerns. Participants in the program seemed to be very interested and attentive during the session. I believe this great cooperation comes from the mutual trust between the community leader with and the community members.
After the teaching session, we weighed the young children to analyze their nutritional status. During the weighing we were able to do a quick assessment of the children to examine their health status. Some of the children were underweight and some children displayed yellow-colored hair indicative of malnutrition. After the weighing, we gave the infants immunizations orally and intramuscularly.
The doctors also met with concerned parents and examined their children. I am very impressed regarding how well the program works. I feel like we have accomplished a great deal for the community just by the grateful ‘thank –you’ we received on our departure. I feel very honored and privileged to have the opportunity to participate in such a great program as Project Medishare.
*Susie Hartl is a nursing student at the University of Miami.