Making a Difference in the Lives of Haitian People

 I am so proud to be part of this organization in such a small way. The amount of time, effort, and financial support necessary to keep these clinics running every other month is staggering. Some people solicit corporate sponsorship, some create pockets of sponsorship at their home parishes and work places, some call on friends and family members to contribute to the cause, some are organizational donors, and some participate hands-on by attending the medical mission trips. This requires using personal vacation time, paying for room and board, and paying airfare. We even take our food with us. Not all mission trips and organizations are equal. I am not particularly attracted to dangerous or primitive expeditions. There is no way I can wrap my brain around the idea of living in a tent in the wilds of Africa where lions and hyenas could make a snack out of me. There those that can do that and I say, “God bless you!” We are fortunate to have a free standing clinic with running water, hot showers, comfortable beds, and most of the amenities of home. We have cooks, laundry service, and the internet! The Haitians come to us for treatment from all over Haiti. We have a reputation for good medical care with ongoing pharmaceutical support for hypertension and diabetes. We have a program for feeding severely malnourished children. We are organized, highly skilled health care professionals that truly care about the people and are committed to the organization’s mission and goals. We save lives. We make a difference. During my first mission trip in 2009 there was rampant uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension. There were lots and lots of severely malnourished children and adults. Breastfeeding wasn’t the preferred option for mothers for a variety of reasons. Now in 2015 mothers are breast feeding longer, babies are plumper, I haven’t seen a blood pressure over 210 and very few over 190. Diabetics are in better control and get diabetic education as part of their care. Margo Spence, RN