Archive for July, 2010

Featuring some of the brightest stars in music, ‘Revival’ is a new offering from Rhythms Del Mundo (RDM) in partnership with the widely-respected Artists Project Earth (APE), a UK NGO focusing on disaster relief and climate change awareness. With each of the tracks given the trademark RDM Afro-Cuban twist, ‘Revival’ offers several musical surprises while supporting relief efforts in Haiti, Chile, and Tibet following the recent catastrophes in these regions. APE has chosen Project Medishare to receive a portion of proceeds to further medical relief efforts in Haiti.

Particular highlights include the first ever authorized remix of “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan – only the second ever officially sanctioned remix of a Dylan song. Also included on the album are Afro-Cuban reworkings of Dizzee Rascal’s chart-topper “Holiday,” Franz Ferdinand’s “The Dark Of The Matinee” and The Gorillaz’ “Feel Good Inc.” ‘Revival’ also features a collaboration between Coldplay and Lele on a stunning version of Coldplay’s top-
ten hit “Clocks,” appropriately entitled “Clocks/Relojes” in keeping with the Cuban spirit of the album.

Other noteworthy contributions include a collection of covers including “I Fought The Law” by Green Day, Wyclef Jean’s remake of Bee Gee’s classic “Stayin’ Alive”, and KT Tunstall’s cover of Jefferson Airplane’s timeless “Somebody To Love.”

Click here to learn more and hear a sneak peak about Rhythms Del Mundo. Go to iTunes to download the CD which was released today!

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By P.J. Pitts

It’s funny how we sometimes end up exactly where we’re supposed to be, even if we don’t know we’re supposed to be there.  The other day while sitting in the logistics office, waiting for my caffeine to set in, and started talking to a couple of University of

Chief Pharmacy Officer for Bernard Mevs Project Medishare P.J. Pitts went to a nearby ophanage to "deworm" the children there. Malnutrition and worms are the most problematic health issues for children in Haiti. Photo by P.J. Pitts.

Miami students about their project.  They were here field testing a very interesting “tele-medicine” software developed by MIT.  Their plan was to head out to New Life Children’s Home to shoot some video footage and talk with Miriam, the Missions Director, about how the software might be useful in Haiti.  Janet (a teacher from Oregon whose “alter ego” is a warehouse pixie in Haiti) had brought a bunch of school supplies to donate, so was heading out with them.  One of the UM students, Sean, seemed a little disappointed that they weren’t able to do more for the orphanage they’d been working with, so I suggested we “de-worm” all of the kids.

Miriam estimates that approximately 90 percent of the children in the tent cities have some sort of intestinal worm.  The living conditions are filthy, with many people sleeping on the dirt, and there is really no way to have anything be “sanitary”.  When a worm infestation isn’t treated, the worms migrate out of the intestines and into other areas. Seeing a kid cough up worms that are 6-inches long is one of those things you never forget.  And in a country where so many of the children are already malnourished, parasitic worms are even more deadly.  Many organizations and school will periodically de-worm all of the children as a precaution.  Anti-helmintics (de-worming medicine) are worth their weight in gold in Haiti, and I’d just been gifted a few thousand mebendazole chewable tablets, and playing with orphans is always a fun way to spend half a day.

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By Jennifer Browning

After turning off of National Road #3, the SUVs tossed,  tumbled and slid across the mud caked roads saturated after the downpour the previous night.

Traveling to the mobile clinic location this morning, the lead SUV with all the medications was deterred by the mud. After about 30 minutes, the truck found its way out and Project Medishare staff determined an alternative location for today's clinic. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

The caravan halted just a few miles down. The lead truck with all of the medications was stuck.

“My primary concern was is there another route or how are we going to get to the clinic,” William Moore, a second year MPH student from Morehouse School of Medicine said. “We prepared so much this morning to leave earlier than before to assure that we could provide as much as we could for today’s clinic, when we saw this obstacle, I thought we weren’t going to be able to service as many people as we originally planned.”

With the road impassable, once the lead truck made its way out of the mud, Project Medishare staff worked out an alternative location which ended up being the property and house of a resident in the community. A messenger was sent down to the original clinic location to tell those waiting to be see,  that the location had changed. Patients walked 45 minutes to get to the alternative location.

“It just impresses upon me how people here make such personal sacrifice traveling in the heat, traveling in the mud, being able to walk carrying their kids long distances to get to the mobile clinic location,” Bande Mangaliso Virgil, a pediatric resident from Morehouse Medical School said. “It says how much faith they have in us as physicians and that is humbling. They walk one, two hours or maybe even a half a day to receive healthcare.”

Erica Shantha, second year medical student at Morehouse School of Medicine, agreed.

“I thought it was great. A local allowed us to improvise and basically take over their home and land to do today’s clinic,” Erica said. “I thought it was amazing how the people could

Erica Shantha, a second year medical student at Morehouse School of Medicine takes a patient's blood pressure at the triage unit at the mobile clinic. "Everyone worked to gether today as a team. We saw the most patients, and it was all set up and organized. It was the most productive day we've had all week in spite of the change in clinic location." Photo by Jennifer Browning.

come there so fast. It seemed to take them 15 minutes to get word that the clinic had moved.”

Normally for the mobile clinics, Project Medishare operates out of a local school house or a church. This provides separate rooms for the various specialties. Today, the whole clinic operated under a sprawling Mango tree and the Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic operated in the back of an SUV to offer some sort of privacy.

“You do what you have to do to get the job done, and that was the only private secure place we had to see our women, so we made it work,” Dr. Tish Titus, assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine. “The women were so happy to come lay in the truck and listen to the sound of their babies on the portable doppler.”


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Bande Mangaliso Virgil, a pediatric resident from Morehouse School of Medicine, examines a patient in a pediatric clinic in a small school in Marmont. This week as part of Project Medishare's University Partnership Program, doctors, medical and MPH students are volunteering with the community health program. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

As part of Project Medishare’s University Partnership Program, Morehouse School of Medicine is working with Project Medishare’s community health staff in Haiti’s Central Plateau this week.

This year there are two returning doctors, and three returning students. Many from the team are surprised with what they have found while working

A Project Medishare community health agent works with the people waiting to be seen at the mobile clinic. The local staff operates the mobile clinics in the more rural areas outside Thomonde two to three times a week. Morehouse School of Medicine doctors and students are working with Project Medishare's local staff this week. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

the mobile clinics.

“It’s really been amazing to see how the Haitian community is dedicated to seeing to the well-being of their children and families,” Bande Mangaliso Virgil, a pediatric resident from Morehouse Medical School said. “You see how dressed up they are to come to clinic and how long they wait to be seen.”

Bande said that with all the negative imagery the media reports about Haiti, that there is actually hope even here, in rural Haiti.

“You see how far this country has come with the limited resources, because we hear in the media in the U.S. just about the turmoil and negative coverage when there is actually a lot of hope and progress here,” she said. “I mean they have along way to go, but I think programs like Project Medishare and just the commit of physicians globally that a lot of great things can happen here and Haiti. Here there is already a community that is receptive to having outsiders come in to help build infrastructure, help with healthcare and education.”

Bande said that while she is a resident, that working in Haiti this week has taught her to rely more on her instincts when she is diagnosing and treating patients.

“In the U.S. we rely heavily on technology like ultra sounds, X-rays and CT Scans. Being here I have to rely on clinical judgment based off a good history from a patient and a physical exam to make sound decisions for patient care,” she said. “That is sort of like a dying art in medicine right now and the way were are trained, and so I find this experience invaluable right now.”

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Monday Wyclef Jean and Yéle Haiti donated $500,000 to Project Medishare. The money will go to purchase a CT Scanner for the Bernard Mevs Project Medishare Hospital. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

Yéle Haiti announced Monday that they are providing a grant to Project Medishare for Haiti in support of the purchase of a 16-slice CT Scanner with its own trailer and generator power source.  This unit will be shipped to Haiti within the next few weeks and will provide the first high resolution scanning available on the island to all patients regardless of their financial resources.

This equipment will be installed at Bernard Mevs Project Medishare Hospital in Port-au-Prince, a non-profit institution working closely with the Haitian Ministry of Health.  Project Medishare and Yéle Haiti are reaching out to other potential donors and partners in this venture.

A unique opportunity exists for potential donors to provide a matching gift of $500,000.  A $1 million total budget will enable Project Medishare to provide Haiti with three more scanners allowing Project Medishare to provide CT Scanners to the General Hospital/HUEH, Hospital Universitaire de la Paix in Port-au-Prince and Justinien General Hospital, a public hospital in Cap Haitien.

These CT scanners will provide technology that will allow rapid diagnosis and effective treatment to prevent unnecessary deaths from major heart attacks, strokes, major trauma and maternal emergencies.  This desperately  needed technology will be integrated into Project Medishare’s training and education program for Haitian healthcare workers, ensuring creation of infrastructure and sustainability necessary for the long-term health of our Haitian neighbors.

Project Medishare is grateful to Wyclef Jean and Yéle Haiti today for this generous gift and is looking forward to cooperatively raising matching funds to make this life saving technology available to more of the 10 million Haitians and visitors who occupy this island nation now and in the future.

“It’s important that Project Medishare and Yéle Haiti are partnering at this time to provide the Haitian people with life saving technology that will be operational within a few weeks,” Dr. Barth Green, president and co-founder of Project Medishare said. “On the six month anniversary, Project Medishare and Yéle Haiti are working together in a promise to continue improving access to healthcare for all Haitians.”

Funds are still needed to keep the Bernard Mevs/Project Medishare Hospital, the only critical care hospital in Haiti,  operational. Please click here to make an online donation today.

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

In June, Project Medishare moved out of the tent hospital and into Bernard Mevs Hospital as part of a partnership to not only operate the only critical care hospital in Haiti, but to provide medical training to the hospital’s predominantly Haitian medical staff.

No where else in Haiti is there a hospital that can provide critical and trauma care. Bernard Mevs/Project Medishare also runs the only PICU/NICU in Haiti.

Within the short month that Bernard Mevs joined Project Medishare in this partnership, lives continue to be saved and Haitian doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are receiving additional training so that one day they can run this hospital without our assistance.

As Drs. Jerry and Marlon Bitar told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, funding is desperately needed to continue operations at the only critical care hospital in Haiti. If Project Medishare does not receive funding by September, there is the reality that operations at the hospital will have to shut down. While Bernard Mevs would still operate as a hospital, it would not be able to function in critical care meaning many lives will be lost.

Project Medishare realizes that many of our supporters contributed quickly and generously after the earthquake, but we desperately need funding to continue to save lives in Haiti. Please click here to show your support by making a donation online today.

If you can’t view the above video, you should be able to find it here.

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This video was made specially for LADY GAGA by Project Medishare and the patients at our hospital in Haiti to thank her for her incredible donation to our efforts to continue saving lives in Haiti. “Mesi” is the Creole adaptation of the french word “Merci” which means “Thank You.”

In the last six months, despite challenges, Project Medishare has made great progress. Existing community health and development programs in the Central Plateau are still continuing their important work and the trauma and rehabilitation hospital is continuing to save lives, providing amputees with a new lease on life, and providing training to the local medical staff. But there is still so much more to be done.

Many heroic volunteer doctors and nurses are still working long, hard hours in Haiti. Project Medishare continues to need of funding in order to obtain supplies, equipment, medicines and to continue our important training program. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Lady Gaga, Project Medishare has been able to continue this life-saving work while empowering the Haitian people encouraging them to lead the charge for a better future for the people of Haiti.

While the news cameras have faded away and most people have forgotten the tragedy of January 12th, Lady Gaga has provided hope that the world has not forgotten the plight faced everyday by the Haitian people. Project Medishare is so incredibly grateful to Lady Gaga for allowing Project Medishare to continue saving lives everyday.

The above video was made in Lady Gaga’s honor by some of the pediatric patients also known as “LADY GAGA’s little monsters” whose lives were saved with her help…the smiles on their faces speak for themselves.

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Bernard Mevs nurse, Sindy Abdon, goes over a patient chart with Dr. Eric Dehoux, a physician volunteering from Canada. While volunteering over the next two weeks, Dr. Dehoux is working with doctors and nurses in the medical surgical unit to extend their knowledge in treating and caring for those with spinal cord injuries. Those coming to volunteer with Project Medishare are not only here to help treat patients, but also train their Haitian medical colleagues. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

Six months ago, Project Medishare volunteer doctors and nurses in collaboration with the University of Miami Global Institute, rushed to the aid of those affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Since January, Project Medishare have treated over 30,000 patients and recruited over 5000 medical volunteers

Marianna, 15, begins learning how to walk with her prosthetic leg for the first time. Assisting her is Cedieu Fortilus who is training to become certified prosthetic technician.Photo by Jennifer Browning.

Last month, Project Medishare transitioned out of the tent hospital and into an existing community hospital, Bernard Mevs, in a partnership to continue making healthcare accessible to the Haitian people. Here trauma and rehabilitation care are provided and our permanent and rotating volunteer staff are conducting a medical training and education program in critical care, trauma and rehabilitation for the local medical staff.

In addition to joining forces with the Bernard Mevs staff, Project Medishare has hired 82 local medical professionals making our hospital staff predominantly Haitian.

The local medical staff is receiving training in all areas including prenatal and neonatal care, general surgeries, specialty surgeries, spinal cord injury, physical therapy and prosthetics.

Haitian nurses who have never worked with preemies before are learning the intricacies of prenatal and neonatal care, as Project Medishare runs the only PICU/NICU in all of Haiti. Currently, there are five students studying to become physical therapy technicians, and two others are training with a prosthetic orthotist to learn how to fit prosthetics and become prosthetic technicians.

“In Haiti we have a dream that we will be able to learn,” Marie Carmelle Charles, a physical therapy tech student said. “Now with this training opportunity, that dream is coming true.”

As Project Medishare moves into this next level in providing training important funding is needed to continue expanding these efforts as we work toward improving access to healthcare in Haiti. Please join Project Medishare in this important endeavor, click here to make an online donation today.

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By Jennifer Browning

Dousma madame, dousma,..” Sammie Jean Charles tells a patient to go slowly as she moves her leg backwards and starts to feel the resistance from the band.

Sammie, a physical therapy tech in training, is working with Roslyn Gillen, an occupational therapist volunteering this week at Bernard Mevs/Project

Sammie Jean Charles assists Roslyn Gillen with a patient's physical therapy. As part of the physical therapy tech training program, students shadow and assist volunteer therapists with patient's exercises. “We are trying to reinforce whatever they are working on this week as well as allowing them to assist us where they can," Roslyn said. Photo by Jennifer Browning.


The recent move to the community hospital has created also a partnership. Project Medishare volunteers are now working side-by-side with Haitian physicians, surgeons, nurses, and pharmacists in an effort to “train the trainer.”  Those coming to volunteer at the trauma and rehabilitation hospital, are not only coming to work, but to also share their knowledge with their Haitian colleagues as part of  Project Medishare’s medical educational training program. Currently, there are five students going through training to be a physical therapy tech.

Sammie began working with Project Medishare as an interpreter. Through working with the physical therapists in transfers of spinal cord patient and out-patient rehabilitation, he became interested in the field.

“I wanted to learn about physical therapy, but there isn’t a school in Haiti,” Sammie said, “and now the people here with Project Medishare are helping us get training.”

And if there were a school for physical therapy in Haiti, Sammie said, it would be too expensive for him to attend.  He sees the additional benefit.

“Many Haitians have the willingness to learn, but to get an education, to learn a skill many times you need the money to pay for the school, but with Medishare here, they are training me for free,” Sammie said. “They are giving me a great opportunity to learn to be a physical therapy tech.”

Alyson Cavanaugh is one of the two long-term volunteers who are training students like Sammie.

“The overall goal is to teach our PT techs to be able to take over this position so that when someone comes in with an injury, they are able to evaluate them and to provide treatment services,” she said. “Eventually when we are gone we want them to be able to do basic physical therapy. “

So far the physical therapists in training have learned basic physical therapy exercises, lower extremity anatomy, and they are beginning to participate in evaluating patients.

In addition to this, they are receiving a hands-on experience as they work with the volunteer physical therapists in assigning exercises and providing patient education regarding the exercises prescribed for physical therapy.

Roslyn Gillen, an occupational therapist from Victoria, B.C. who is volunteering this week, said Sammie shadows her as part of his training. Roslyn also constantly reviews with Sammie on the information he has already learned.

Physical therapy tech student, Sammie Jean Charles and Marie Carmelle Charles, work with a volunteer on range of motion exercises. "In Haiti we have a dream that we will be able to learn," Marie said. "Now with this training opportunity, that dream is coming true." Photo by Jennifer Browning.

“Right now we are focusing on testing their knowledge regarding range of motion,” she said. “We are trying to reinforce whatever they are working on this week as well as allowing them to assist us where they can.”

The PT tech students have also attended a three-day training on wheelchair fitting as well as training in wound care.

Alyson said she appreciates how eager the students are about learning all the necessary skills.

“They are super excited to learn and they are eating up every little bit of information,” she said. “There is a lot of memorization involved, so they are practicing each and everyday between each other and reviewing the anatomy. “

The physical therapy tech students are also requesting to gain more responsibilities in dealing with patients. For Alyson, this is a good sign.

“They are asking now to be more involved with transfers, so they are taking the lead in our spinal cord unit to get the patients out of bed,” she said. “They are all independent in transfers working with spinal cord patients.”

Another physical therapy tech student, Aviça Charles said this is not only a great learning experience for him, but a great opportunity for him to help others in the future.

“I am very happy to have this program here, because too many times when someone here in Haiti breaks their leg or arm they may not get the therapy they need to get better,” Aviça said. “With this program, and with the training I receive I will be able to one day help people get healthy.”

Six months after the January earthquake, Project Medishare continues to work in Haiti in an effort not only to treat the people of Haiti, but also to better train the medical staff there in order to empower the Haitian people.

Click here to make an online donation to show your support in continuing Project Medishare’s medical educational training program.  Funding is still extremely important to continue these important, long-term life saving efforts.

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By Jennifer Browning

At 13, Amos spends his summer vacation working to help support his family. At sunrise, he goes down to the river, collects the sand on the bottom, places it in large buckets and then carries it to a central location.

Amos and his mother Ann. Amos is recovering well from his first surgery. Today, surgeons will perform a skin graft. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

Over a week ago, Amos fell and punctured his hand while at work. Not wanting to worry his family, he told no one about his injury. Within a week, Ann, his mother, began to notice Amos wasn’t sleeping.

That’s when Amos showed her his hand, which was swollen and showed signs of infection. Ann brought her son to the government hospital in Hinche last week where doctors prescribed antibiotics and tried to clean the wound. They recommended that Amos return to see the doctors arriving from Emory.

When the doctors from Emory met Amos, his hand was enormously swollen and he was complaining not only of pain in his right hand, but all the way up to his shoulder. His forearm was already showing signs of swelling. The surgeons determined that Amos was suffering from necrotizing fasciitis.

“He is the bread winner in his family, he fell and probably had wood penetrate the wound, those are dirty wounds in general, and they are set up for rapid bacterial overgrowth,” Dr. Jahnavi Srinivasan, a visiting surgeon from Emory said. “So when he got here he was actually septic, he had a very high fever, he couldn’t move his fingers at all. If this had gone on too long there wouldn’t have been a chance of his hand coming back.”

The infection was so bad that there was a possibility Amos could lose his hand or had the infection worsened, his life.

The surgical team comprised of Dr. Srinivasan and Dr. Viraj Master decided to perform surgery to relieve pressure from the wound.

“He had global body wide infection and non-use of his hand,” Dr. Master said.

Ann said she is thankful for what the doctors could do here.

“The Lord has given me grace to help my son. I prayed for something to come, and the Lord sent me these doctors to help my son,” she said. “I am very happy. After thanking God, I thank the doctors for coming here. The doctors are very nice and professional.”

Three days after the surgery, the surgical team says that Amos’s wound is overall healing well, but there are still concerns for the young boy.

“The concern is that it is going to form a bunch of scar tissue, and as the scar tissue forms, the skin is not going to be as elastic as regular skin,” Ira Leeds, a third-year Emory medical student said.

Leeds explained that this elasticity problem would prevent Amos from being able to open and close his hand properly. In order for him to regain full use of the hand, he will require a skin graft and long-term physical therapy.

Dr. Srinivasan and Dr. Master plan to do a skin graft on his hand today, because they are not sure when he will have the opportunity to see a plastic surgeon. And if the wound care isn’t done properly, the hand could become infected again.

“He would have died if we hadn’t debrided this and if it gets infected again he could die,” Dr. Srinivasan said. “Normally when you have a wound like this you wait seven to 10 days just to make sure the superficial bacterial counts from the fresh tissue has gone down because it gives you a better chance of the skin graft taking and healing.”

The surgeons are hoping the skin graft will take. Project Medishare’s nurse liaison, Maguy Rochelin, is staying in touch with the patient so if Amos needs another skin graft she can possibly schedule Amos to see the next plastic surgery team arriving to work at Bernard Mevs/Project Medishare hospital in Port-au-Prince.

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