Global Health Public Health Preparedness & Response

First Day Back in Haiti: Notes from January 22, 2010

By David Doherty, APHL Consultant

Just had an aftershock as I was beginning to type this message. Here is a very brief synopsis of the site visits from today:

1) Bernard Mevs
– no damage to hospital or lab
– no electricity but a 100kW generator is supposed to arrive from Jamaica tomorrow AM
– they have Sysmex but no automated chemistry; Drs. Bitar (Jerry and
Marlon) are desperate to get up and running to do haemograms and blood typing; they are doing as many as 20 surgeries an hour
– all lab techs survived but are homeless; spoke with two of them this afternoon; one is in Miragoane and is willing to return to work on Monday; another is sleeping outside in P-ville and will be returning to Hinche to accompany the older members of her family out of the city

2) HUP
– some damage to lab and hospital; mostly horizontal cracks on non-load bearing walls; all beams seem to be intact
– no electricity in lab
– Sysmex but no automated chemistry
– spoke with lab supervisor and Drs. Fontilus and Sant Fleur; all technicians are ready to report to work once they open the lab; she has requested one of the APHL techs if we get them a Vitros

3) Hopital Carrefour
– no damage to infrastructure; MSF has taken over the hospital temporarily; they will be moving to a new site on Monday and Carrefour will resume independent operation
– inverter and generators are intact; only concern will be availability of fuel
– no automated hematology except Hb and white cells using Point Care instrument; no automated chemistry
– spoke with the medical director, Dr. Dauphin; Ms. Barolette, the lab supervisor, had just left; all his technicians survived and are available as soon as he gives the word

4) Fame Pereo
– major structural damage to second floor; lab is intact but unsafe due to the unstable mass of concrete above
– inverters are damaged but functional Sysmex and Reflotron operational
– all technicians are available for work except one who returned to Gros Morne; spoke with her this evening and she is ready to return once she has a place to work
– spoke with the medical director, Dr. Pean; she is looking for another building to house the clinic temporarily; she will require some funds to get the lab set up if space is located

5) Maternite Isaie Jeanty
– no major structural damage to hospital or lab; hospital opening half days for emergency cases only
– lab was operating with power during the visit
– no automated hematology except Hb and white cells using Point Care instrument; no automated chemistry

Did not attempt to visit HUEH because it has been taken over by the US Military and PIH.

We need to help CMMB unload a plane tomorrow morning. I will visit NPFS if there is time while we are in the neighborhood. Hoping to get to Leogane tomorrow afternoon to see Sanatorium Sigueneau and St. Croix. (Ran into a team of US doctors on the plane to Miami; they were being posted to the latter site.)

Taking a team of orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists to Jacmel on Saturday morning. I will check out St. Michel and Marigot. Don’t think I will have time (or a road) to get to Bainet and Lavalee.

We will resume visits to the remaining sites in the West on Monday (Grace, St. Fracis de Sales, IMIS, etc.). We will not schedule a visit to the GHESKIO main campus as they are overwhelmed.
Lastly, went to the Petionville Club to speak with Coty Reinbold. (He is managing the relief camp there, currently 53,000 people.) The situation for Vitros DT60 is as follows:
a) he has two instruments for GHESKIO that have not been installed
b) he has two instruments for PIH that have not been installed
c) AIDS Relief has 5 or 6 instruments at the warehouse in Delmas that have not been installed; I will be meeting with Olivia tomorrow to confirm that those could be made available for the relief effort if needed; their office and storage depot were not damaged.

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