We received a team of physicians from the Dominican Republic this summer. It was a wonderful opportunity to build relationships with such a dedicated and generous group. Members of Cure Cervical Cancer are traveling to Borgne in December to screen and treat cervical cancer lesions on site! We are very excited about this new partnership which promises to bring much needed attention to women’s health in our region. The dental clinic is working well and we welcome visiting teams of dentists. We also hosted several students on service learning trips or summer internships.
Scaling up mobile clinic program:
An important feature of the healthcare model is HOPE’s ability to conduct mobile clinics, therefore accessing populations that might find it difficult to reach the Tibouk clinic. These are one-day events where HOPE staff and medical personnel transport medications, medical supplies to remote locations where people who would have a hard time reaching even the Tibouk clinic are then able to access the same level of care closer to home. While HOPE conducted mobile clinics prior to ARC funding, this program was scaled up with the ARC program.
The review team was able to observe first-hand a mobile clinic in the location of Sajan on the final day of the field visit. Because there was no road from the Tibouk clinic to Sajan, in order to reach the site of the mobile clinic, the review team had to go by foot on a stone and dirt path walking up mountainous terrain for an hour and a half. The path included walking across one small river and several streams. It was a physically demanding trip for the review team, even though the team was not responsible for transporting any supplies. HOPE staff and community members made the same trip carrying medications and medical supplies in boxes balanced on their heads earlier in the morning in order to set up the clinic in a building that is owned by the KGPB community organization. The trip provided insight into one of the main strengths of the organization which is its ability to access difficult to reach populations and bring health services to people who may not be able to travel to the main health center in Borgne town or even the Tibouk health clinic, particularly when they are sick.
The mobile clinic that the review team observed was staffed by 13 HOPE staff including 3 nurses, 1 doctor, 3 auxiliaries, 1 pharmacist and one pharmacy assistant as well as HOPE community mobilization staff who were working to organize people and the flow of patients into a system where each patient would take a number and wait their turn while a file is set up for them that would then be forwarded to the nurse or doctor, depending on the level of severity of the case. The services provided included HIV/STI testing on site, prenatal care, pediatric care, family planning, cervical cancer screening for referral to the Borgne health center and basic outpatient care. The most common drugs dispensed by the pharmacy were antibiotics and pain killers. There were about 150 patients waiting for HOPE when the team arrived in the morning and the staff estimated that they would treat about 300 patients that day. The mobile clinic was also able to provide an adequate supply of medications for the event, which is often not the case in Haitian health facilities.
Many mobile clinics require staff and volunteers to work even further distances; for example, Molas is eight hours walking from Tibouk clinic, which is a one-hour drive from Borgne health center. However, one HOPE staff reported that staff will walk up to three hours per day and then stay overnight if longer distances are required for the sites of other mobile clinics. HOPE reports that last quarter (January-March 2014), the organization conducted seven mobile clinics, reaching 1,505 people.