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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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