Haiti Medical Mission
For the past two years I have traveled to Haiti with a medical team from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Barnabas Medical Center led by Dr. Lewis Ladocsi. Hôpital Sacré Coeur (HSC) is the largest private hospital in the North of Haiti.
Located in the town of Milot, the 120 bed hospital has provided uninterrupted service for 26 years. First time volunteers are often emotionally overwhelmed by the poverty and conditions that they see upon their arrival. Malnutrition is rampant and kwashikor, a severe form often associated in our minds with Africa years ago still is seen up in the mountains.
Children die from diseases that would be a mere nuisance in much of the United States. The number of children that don’t reach their first birthday is appalling. And yet in the face of these conditions that many would consider insurmountable the Haitian spirit prevails.
Children on the streets laugh and play and are quick to engage visitors. Mothers travel miles down from the mountains when they hear that a volunteer team has arrived at the hospital and may be able to help their children.
In the hospital they patiently wait for their time with the medical team.
The devastating earthquake of January 2010 left this northern region relatively unscathed in terms of structural damage. However the tremendous loss in the southern portion of this already poor country resulted in a large influx of patients at HSC. An already taxed and struggling healthcare system that turns away no patients and strives daily to respect the dignity of each patient was faced with even greater challenges.
But help is on the way. Holy Name Medical Center, led by Doctor David Butler, an obstetrician gynecologist and Michael Maron, CEO have taken on the challenge of working with the Haitian people at Hôpital Sacré Coeur.
They are providing not only volunteers as they have for years, but teaching, materials, money and training to help the people of Milot know a better tomorrow. Their commitment to this desperately poor region, thousands of miles away, is an inspiration to us all. See how you can help.