By Jennifer Browning
Project Medishare began overseeing the government clinic in Casse in 2007. With a grant provided by Cross International through the government from USAID/PEPFAR, the Casse clinic renovations began in 2009.
During renovations, a local school agreed to share space with Casse medical staff. And although there is still a need for some furniture and some equipment, today the clinic is once again serving the community at its original location.
Altagracia Pierre, 18, who brought her sister’s baby for check up to be vaccinated, said she is happy the renovated clinic is operational.
“When the school shared the clinic there wasn’t much room. Here it is more comfortable and there is more space,” she said. “The service seems better too.”
Pierre said she is appreciative of Project Medishare’s efforts to provide healthcare in her community.
“Here at the clinic it doesn’t cost as much to see the doctor as some other places,” she said. “Also the doctors here do whatever they can to help you. If you need medication and they have it available they make sure you get it.”
Chantal Guerrier, 37, came in for her family planning consultation. She said she loves the renovated clinic.
“It’s beautiful and nice. If you are really sick and you have to stay for the day, there is now a place for you to lie down,” she said. “Before, there was nowhere to rest if you were very sick and waiting to see a doctor.”
She too likes having a clinic nearby in her community also because it helps save money on transportation costs.
“It is good when you have your clinic near you because the healthcare if very close, you don’t have to walk a long distance or take a donkey. It is accessible; it is close which is good especially if there is an emergency,” Guerrier said. “It also helps us save money because we don’t have to spend the money to rent a motorcycle or a donkey. That means I have more money to feed my family.”
Louis Anelus, an auxiliary nurse at the Casse Clinic, worked at the clinic before the renovation plans were in place. He said he can tell that people in the community are happy to have the clinic renovated.
“People were so happy when they heard that improvements would be made to the clinic,” he said. “They were desperate for improvement.”
Anelus said the clinic is so important to the people in the community.
“The clinic here is so important for people because before this clinic, people didn’t have money for healthcare,” he said. “Now with Project Medishare here operating the clinic they pay so little and the community is so happy.”
With renovation also came staffing improvements.
“In the old clinic there was a space for a lab, but there was no funding for personnel to operate the lab and run the tests,” he said. “Now we have a lab technician and the lab can function fully.”
But it isn’t just aesthetics and improvement in staffing that excites Anelus, but also that the community is part of what is happening in regards to the improvements in healthcare.
“I am so happy that we have the clinic again and that it is renovated. When we were sharing space with the school down the road we couldn’t see very many patients,” Anelus said. “Here we can see more patients, and I feel that the people in the community are proud to have this clinic here and they feel like they are a part of what is happening. And that is so important.”