Health Care

 

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Our Story

Support for health care has always been an integral part of our mission.

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Prenatal Nutrition Program for the Savannah Stair Bouly Clinic

Objective of this effort: Providing a robust Prenatal Nutritional and improved sanitary program within the Savannah Stair Bouly clinic in order to improve the lives of Expecting Mothers and give every newborn child a substantially improved chance at a normal childhood. This effort must be funded annually to keep it sustainable for years to come. It should be noted that the Scope of this effort is to be isolated to Prenatal Nutrition. Nutrition for newborns is funded from the general funding we already provide. Funding needs to be focused specifically on Prenatal Nutrition ONLY.

Currently the clinic sees about 30-50 patients a month in prenatal care. We don’t make deliveries at the clinic because we are not equipped for that, as soon as those patients get 30 to 35 gestational weeks, they are transferred to Boucan Carre for delivery.

Listing of Nutritional Supplements:

  • Prenatal vitamin or multivitamin
  • peanut butter
  • folic acid
  • ferrous sulfate
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is a type of vitamin containing omega-3 fatty acid, it is very useful during pregnancy, and it helps support healthy fetal growth.
  • Aspirin 81mg should be added and some other high caloric supplement.

Another vital aspect of Prenatal care is the distribution of mosquito bed nets.

After the clinic was built in 2013 the team knew that to make a lasting impact they had to find a way to get vaccines to the clinic, no easy feat in a country like Haiti.

Fatal illnesses the villagers were experiencing are easily preventable through vaccines but they have to be handled carefully and require refrigeration and protection from light. In remote, rural areas where electricity is nonexistent, small solar-powered refrigerators are the only option to store the vaccines.

From the initial planning stages for the building of the clinic, the planning team, including engineers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, designed the building to be wired for solar panels, even though at the time they had no idea how they’d get the panels to Bouly.

Through fundraising, the Haiti Outreach team was able to purchase five solar panels and a small, energy-efficient refrigerator in 2019. Unfortunately, Haiti’s political situation quickly deteriorated, and lawlessness and gang activity made the trip too dangerous.

In 2022, Through a connection Matt Webster, chairman of the Knoxville Haiti Outreach Program, had with Joe Hurston, a pilot and founder of Air Mobile Ministries who had flown over 150 times to Haiti to deliver water purification systems, the plans were becoming a reality.

solar panels

In early June, the panels and refrigerator were picked up from a basement in Alcoa, driven to Mr. Hurstons home, then on to Titusville, Fla., where Mr. Hurston’s plane, a turbocharged Cessna 337 lovingly called “Little Donkey,” was loaded for the flight to Port-au-Prince.

There, Mr. Hurston was met by a missionary from Mission Aviation Fellowship, who continued the journey by plane to Pignon, a small village 60 miles north of the capital and outside of gang control. In Pignon, St. Michel partners Father Michelet Lamare and Julio Geffrard drove the panels and refrigerator first to Boucan-Carré and then to the village of Sivol, and from there they were carried over the mountain to Bouly.

solar panels

We originally supported the community clinic in Boucan-Carré. After the construction in 2012 of a large teaching hospital in nearby Mirebalais, we refocused our medical efforts on serving more remote regions. In 2016, after working for five years with the local citizens, we completed construction of a permanent building to house the region’s first clinic in the village of Bouly. Reachable only after a five-hour trek over the mountain, the clinic employs Nurse Jean Baptiste to provide primary care three days a week, and Dr. Olgenn Octave who makes the journey to Bouly for three days every other week. Between them they do 60-80 patient visits a week. Their work is supplemented by medical teams from Knoxville that travel to Bouly and the surrounding villages two to three times each year, treating some 350-400 patients.

With two exam rooms and two dorm rooms, the clinic now has electricity, a gift from volunteers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory who traveled to Bouly to wire the facility. They plan to return in 2021 to install solar panels that will make it possible to store medicines, including vaccines that will reduce the large number of childhood deaths from typhoid, malaria and other tropical diseases. As a result of the generosity of friends and supporters, some 30,000 people in Haiti’s Central Plateau now have access to regular health care for the first time.

solar panels

Our clinic is the nicest building in the village, by far.

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Education

Stephanie Giger
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Medical

Dr. Dean Mire
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Committee Chairman

Matt Webster
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