(Written by Dree, edited by Darcy.)

To sustain means to give support or relief to, to supply with sustenance, to keep up, to prolong. IWISH’s mission uniquely focuses on long-term sustainability so that Haitian care providers are able to sustain a healthy population, independently. This means durable equipment, training of Haitian personnel in the use and care of that equipment, education of families, and more.

In May of this year (2017) we returned to Haiti with more equipment, supplies, and an ambitious schedule of both surgeries and teaching. We are currently focusing our efforts in Port Au Prince (PAP) at Hopital Les Messie and PAP General, as well as at the Wesleyan Hospital on the island of LaGonave. For this trip, our team was invited to stay with Emmanuel and his family – he is our translator/guide/facilitator extraordinaire! A need has been identified for a medical clinic in a community one hour outside of Port Au Prince where Emmanuel has established a sustainable orphanage with room for the medical clinic.  Read on!

Below are highlights from our trip. For medical professionals, or others seeking “all the details” there are links to some of Dr. Stryker’s formal classes to medical personnel. Our team this year was Dr. Dree Stryker, OBGYN; and Gail McGee, RN, Pediatrics. We have a great (and growing!) team of Haitian medical professionals with whom we work, even when we aren’t physically in Haiti!

Trip Priorities:

  • Dissemination of medical knowledge and technology – optimize the equipping and training of physicians and nurses in PAP and LaGonave.
  • Assess and prioritize future needs
  • Develop model for sustainable orphanages in Haiti via Emmanuel’s orphanage

Days 1 and 2  (Saturday and Sunday)

Emmanuel met us at the airport and drove us to his home where we had been invited to stay. Many roads were already flooding (some with 6 feet of water) and the rainy season hasn’t even officially started yet which is quite worrisome. We tried to reach Dr. Honore without success that first night so, the evening was spent finalizing the presentations for Tuesday’s medical conference.

Sunday was the first full day in Haiti. There was a downpour in the morning, with closed roads until the afternoon. In the morning, we rested and sorted through the 8 suitcases of supplies and equipment we brought down according to what supplies went to which hospital facility. Sunday afternoon, we saw a break in the rain, so we were able to get to Hopital Les Messie to organize the surgical instruments and see our preoperative patients, most of whom turned out to be infertility patients with GYN problems. After orienting Dr. Batsch, Dr. Hosty and Dr. Honore to the new ultrasound machine with its Cine-loop and Color Flow Doppler capability, they then taught the senior OBGYN residents to use the machine. Most importantly, we assessed the functionality of existing equipment provided in past trips, combined with those that we brought down with us.