Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lessons From the Front Line

My June 21st - June 29th, 2010 trip to Petionville Country Club - Tent City, Haiti

The groups who sponsored me to work in Haiti

The International Medical Assistance Team (IMAT) was started by a Snohomish County Fire District 1 paramedic and has continued to send teams down to Haiti. IMAT is continuing to build and grow its network of doctors, nurses and paramedics.

J/P HRO was "founded by actor and humanitarian Sean Penn and philanthropist Diana Jenkins, who has since moved on to other philanthropic efforts, J/P HRO began its work just hours after the earthquake hit."  To date, J/P HRO took over the management of over 50,000 refugees. There have been more than 100,000 pounds of medical supplies given out since January 12th 2010.

More importantly to me, the camp has a DMAT Category 3 Hospital that is designed to treat all medical illnesses and injuries in the camp.  Those cases that are dimmed critical are transported to local area hospitals. On average, during out week long trip, our team treated more than 120 people each day. We also had delivery of newborn babies!

CDC map of malaria in South America
Remember your anti-malaria medicines! I prefer Malarone for my international trips.

Our medical team for the week!
The J/P HRO Hospital where we worked our magic.

We're open for business.

Triage is up and running ~ 120 people per day are seen.

Abscesses to be drained.
The week I was in Haiti, we had a dentist!

His work station.

Here come the babies!
Thanks Mike and Jason!

Yes, we could do x-rays!

Just have the patient lay down on the cot and off we go...

.... to reset that arm and cast it up.

Yes, we had UN protection around the camp. Colorful too!

Triage is all cleared by the end of the day!

And here's what the rest of Tent City looked like:

Goats are every where and forage where they can.
Selling dinner from their homes.
Stop in at the Cyber Cafe!

Or stop in at the Beauty Studio.

If you want to get rich quick, then go ahead and play the lottery.

School is in session.

This is how we lived:

Out kitchen with three bucket cleaning system.

One HUGE tent with several small tents. We still had water leakage problems.

My "home" for the week.

All the extra space I had!

We had showers, b/c water runs down hill.

Filtered water system that the CDC encourages through a complicated mechanism

Yes, we were at a county club and we had a pool.  Sadly, no water.  Actually, this was our pharmacy.

Eating well, by eating MREs!

Thanks to our translators for French and Creole.

Relaxing after one very long week!

Both J/P HRO and IMAT are looking for: 
•Volunteers – medical and non medial positions
•Funds for care of specific patients
•Funds for on going community projects

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex


  1. Welcome to the blogging world Ryan!

  2. Are you sunbathing in scrubs? That has to be a first!

  3. It was at the end of a very long day, Margaret. :-)

  4. No need to be defensive... a first is a first! I'm not judging. :)

  5. Dr. Alex,

    Hey now, those MRE's have GREATLY improved since I was a kid. They actually taste kind of good!

    Later Gator,