Category Archives: Haiti

C2C RESPONDS TO CIVIL UNREST IN HAITI

Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

Today is the celebration of Carnival in Haiti. The Carnival of Haiti (otherwise known as “Mardi Gras” or “Kanaval” in Creole) is one of the most anticipated events in the country. This cultural event kicks off the day before Ash Wednesday to usher in the season of Lent, with colorful celebrations throughout Haiti. But, unfortunately, this year, Haiti’s Minister of Culture has announced that official carnival celebrations have been canceled in light of recent protests and unrest across the country.


Photo Courtesy of Associated Press News

As you may have heard from the news or from personal connections in Haiti, major demonstrations have been occurring across the country since February 5, when citizens and opposition politicians began to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.

That same day, our clinic managers were leaving our Cap Haitien clinic to attend a staff meeting at our Acul-du-Nord clinic when they were stopped on National Road 1 due to political unrest demonstrations. They tried to urge the demonstrators to allow them to cross the road to get to the clinic but there was no way convince demonstrators to allow them to pass the road blocked with cement blocks. Our staff from other clinics also were forced to cross the roadblock zone on foot to get home. The following day, the road was cleared and the staff was able to get to work easily. Unfortunately, the demonstrators blocked the road again later in the day, and, again, the only way the staff could pass through closures was on foot.

On February 7, due to the rising unrest (protests, huge roadblocks and barricades, and burning tires), we were forced to close our clinic network to protect our staff and the patients. Our staff in Haiti stayed in communication at all times to evaluate the situation in order to make a decision regarding the opening or closure of the clinics. For two weeks, our HR manager would send a message to all the staff every morning to instruct them to stay home if the roads and conditions did not allow travel. For most of this time however, one of our more remote clinics remained open and continued to serve the community since it is located in an area away from the political unrest and most of the staff lives in the same community the clinic serves. We also made a conscious effort to try and keep our main clinic in the center of town (Cap Haitien) open to patients who needed timely access to care.

Beyond the demonstrations, another challenge has been lack of fuel, which has made traveling difficult not only for our staff but patients too. Transportation prices have more than doubled to account for the shortage of fuel options in the country.

Encouragingly, in the last week, things have started to return to normal, but the political and economic situation in Haiti is still delicate. There is no telling whether or not the protests will restart. So, there will certainly continue to be challenges but this is what encourages us to keep doing the work we do. We hold on to (and continue to be energized by) the fact that we are providing vital healthcare services to communities that need them desperately.

Thank you for your continued support and, as always, onward!

This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

C2C OPENS SECOND PUBLIC-PRIVATE CLINIC IN HAITI’S NORTHERN DEPARTMENT

C2C recently held a grand opening to celebrate adding a new clinic to our network as part of our expanding Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Haitian Ministry of Health in northern Haiti. This newly upgraded clinic opened its doors to treat vulnerable families who live or work in Bayeux and its surrounding communities. This is the 5th clinic in C2C’s growing network and the second clinic we have rehabilitated and re-opened in partnership with Haiti’s government. We collaborate closely with the Ministry to improve patient outcomes, service quality and operational excellence across all C2C clinics. The partnership is thriving in the northern department and will soon expand to other regions in Haiti.

We kicked off Opening Day at Bayeux by offering free immunizations for infants at the clinic which was met with enthusiasm and a large participation from families in the community. We also invited local government leaders and representatives from the Northern Department at the Haitian Ministry of Health. All attendees got the opportunity to take a tour of the clinic and learn about its new and wide-ranging services.

Community members gather to celebrate the grand opening of the Bayeux clinic

Patients wait in front of the clinic for immunizations and physician consultations

Stay tuned as we bring you more information about the Bayeux clinic’s progress and patient stories! In the coming months, you will also learn more about how C2C plans to add more PPP clinics to our growing network of clinics in Haiti.

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This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

Clinic Launch Series: Part 4 of 5- Why a Public-Private Partnership?

In Haiti, over 80% of the population is living below the poverty line – that’s over 8 million people in need of economic opportunity, education, and human services. Social challenges of this magnitude cannot be tackled in isolation.Working together, the public and private sectors can catalyze development across the country. At C2C, we believe that the health sector is in desperate need of transformation and that a public-private partnership model has the power to give “new life” to flagging public health facilities. The Haitian Ministry of health agrees and has endorsed our work:

“C2C has demonstrated over many years that they hold the highest standards for quality and affordability. Their clinics are models of operational excellence and I believe that C2C’s operating model can transform public sector clinics across Haiti. C2C is a valued partner of the Haitian Ministry of Health,” said Dr. Ernst-Robert Jasmin, Director of the Northern Department, Haitian Ministry of Health

Step Four: Partner with the government to transform struggling public clinics and improve health outcomes for poor families

Starting with the Sinek clinic, our growing network of clinics will leverage the assets the Ministry of Health already has in place – infrastructure, trained personnel, and a commitment to data collection – by taking that system to the next level to fill the gaps that break down care delivery and undermine access and quality.

Our partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health will double patient volume, ensure timely vaccination coverage for all children in the Sinek community, triple the pharmacy stock, and add diagnostics capacity on-site.

 Rehabilitating the new clinic site at Sinek
This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

Clinic Launch Series: Part 3 of 5- Meet the Staff of the Sinek Clinic

While a newly-renovated space, electronic medical records, and a stocked pharmacy are key components of a thriving community clinic, nothing is more important than the motivated and talented clinical staff who deliver care to patients each day. In our effort to rehabilitate government clinics, C2C will recruit, hire and train clinic personnel as needed. Fortunately, in Sinek, we inherit an extraordinary team of long-standing public employees who are excited about the management transformation that will give them the tools they need to deliver high-quality primary care.

Step Three: Staffing the clinic with talented, supported medical personnel 

Meet Carmelle, the current Nurse Manager at the Sinek clinic. She has worked at the clinic for 11 years and has done everything in her power to care for patients. But the Ministry of Health as virtually no resources to support Carmelle in her efforts, so she has had to juggle competing demands: clinical care, inventory management, financial management, home-based care for tuberculosis patients, medical records and countless other functions. Carmelle is hopeful of change:

“For me, this partnership between C2C and the Ministry of Health can finally change things for the better in Sinek,” she says. “By coming together, we’ll build up the clinic to serve the local people with what they need. I’ve tried, but I need support. The arrival of C2C means that I won’t have worry about having supplies or medications for my patients. I won’t have to worry about leaving the clinic to go to town to find medicine to stock the shelves. C2C will make my life easier and I will have more time to give to my patients. I will get to do my job.”

Carmelle’s commitment to the clinic’s success and to the community of Sinek is evident. She shares her excitement for the community:“Finally, the people of Sinek will have access to health services. Usually, they have to travel to Limbé [the nearest town, 45 minutes away by car] for health services because the clinic here just isn’t able to take care of them. Now that C2C is here, the Sinek clinic will be able to take care of its own community.”

 

This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

One-Year Report: C2C’s Malnutrition Program

 

According to the World Health Organization, clinical malnutrition is responsible, directly or indirectly, for more than 30% of deaths of children under five years old worldwide. In Haiti more specifically, 1 in 5 children are currently malnourished. Children suffering from malnutrition in early childhood will have lifelong consequences such as stunting and reduced mental development. Because of their weakened immune system, children are also much more at risk to develop other life-threatening pathologies, contributing to childhood mortality rates.

C2C began providing malnutrition treatment at our clinics one year ago with the support of our partner organization, Meds & Food for Kids (MFK), who produces and distributes Medika Mamba, a peanut-based therapeutic food considered the gold standard for treating malnutrition by the World Health Organization.

Once a week, children are screened at C2C clinic sites and malnourished children are enrolled in a 12-week treatment program. In its first year, we screened over 750 children and enrolled over 250 kids into comprehensive treatment.

With support from the Ministry of Public Health, C2C will extend the program for another year to continue to offer our malnutrition services to the families who need it most.

 

Malnutrition Success Story:

Andianie (9 months)

          

                                            Before enrollment: 5.6 lbs        After enrollment: 10.6 lbs

 

Andianie spent 12 weeks in the program and consistently put on weight. At the end of the program, she gained 5 whole pounds and grew 2.6 inches. She had become more active and playful as the weeks went by. Andianie’s mother was extremely happy with her progress and was ready to apply the health and hygiene knowledge she learned from the C2C staff.

 

This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

Vitamins Help Treat Malnutrition

Providing the highest quality medical care to vulnerable families takes collaboration. We are proud to partner with Vitamin Angels to source vitamins for malnourished children and for our maternal patients, including antenatal multivitamins and supplements.

Recently, C2C Nurse Herlande Duvot attended a training course by Vitamin Angels on how to distribute vitamins according to expert-approved best practices. The training focused on the benefit of multivitamins for pregnant women, especially vitamin A. Vitamin Angels also discussed their mission to reduce child mortality worldwide by connecting essential micronutrients with infants and children under five.

This partnership with Vitamin Angels strengthens C2C’s supply chain and empowers our work to support women through safe and healthy pregnancies and to combat malnutrition. C2C is proud and excited to partner with Vitamin Angels in Haiti to expand our services for women and children for years to come.

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This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

CHW Training: Week One

C2C is kicking off November with a comprehensive, 2-week training for our Community Health Workers (CHWs), focusing on building skills and knowledge to support pregnant women and rural families with their health concerns. CHWs live in the communities where they work and they are trusted and welcomed into patients’ homes to provide health education, counseling, and follow-up for a wide range of health problems.

CHA training- week one

This week, we welcomed a new team member, Santia Vital, who will join our clinical team at C2C’s clinic in Acul du Nord.

The first few days of training focused on C2C’s malnutrition program, specifically how to screen and treat malnutrition. The CHWs also learned how to use new data collection tools to aid them in their work.

Dr. Sévère, resident physician at C2C’s Acul du Nord clinic, also provided training on vaccinations.

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

Expanded Services Brings Jump in Patient Volume

2016 is off to a busy start for C2C.  In the past two months, our patient volume has increased by 89% across our two clinic sites in Northern Haiti!  In March alone we served over 1,000 patients with clinical services, including primary care, specialty antenatal care, and community-based health screenings.

The C2C clinic model partners directly with communities and we nurture and respect the feedback loop that we have with our patients. This year, we heard our patients speaking loud and clear: expanded services and more affordability. We’ve provided exactly that and the results have been very exciting!

Offering free maternal health care to pregnant women was very important to the families of Camp Coq and Acul du Nord and so we expanded our services to meet that need— helping to ensure that expectant mothers have comprehensive care during pregnancy, access to safe birthing support, and post-natal and infant care.

We’re on track to serve 10,000 patients in 2016— and to double that number in 2017. Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about new programs to expand family planning coverage, childhood vaccinations, and to ensure that school-age child are healthy and thriving!

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

International Women’s Day Event Provides Free Health Screenings for 100 Women in Northern Haiti

March 8th marked International Women’s Day, a time to bring attention to the global fight for women’s rights and gender equality. This year, in recognition of this important day, we hosted a special program at our Camp Coq, Haiti clinic. Our clinicians provided 100 women from the surrounding communities with free HIV and PAP testing.

Partnering with Borgnes Hospital, our clinical staff spent the day providing these two crucial tests to women of all ages. Both cancer and HIV/AIDS remain among the top ten causes of premature death in Haiti. While these tests can be lifesaving, paying for them can be a struggle for many women in the farming communities of the north.

At C2C we seek to provide the best primary care for women and their families. In 2015, 68% of patients at our clinics in Northern Haiti were female. They receive quality care from our clinic staff, which is 83% female itself.

C2C truly believes that healthy women are vital to healthy families and communities lipitor generic. Through our primary care, our community health screenings, and our free maternal health program, we strive to serve as many women in the communities of Northern Haiti as possible!

 

 

 

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

Care 2 Communities Responds to Zika Virus Concern in Haiti

Over the past couple weeks the mosquito-borne virus known as Zika has become a hot topic, not only in the health world, but in the global media as well. In response to an outbreak of cases across the Americas, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika a global public health emergency. With all the concern surrounding this outbreak, we wanted to share some information about the virus, as well as what Care 2 Communities is doing in response in Haiti.

Zika is spread by mosquitos and, for most who contract the virus, symptoms are usually mild to moderate and can include fever, headache, and muscle and joint pain. There is no vaccine, and no cure, however, eighty percent of people that become infected show no symptoms, and those that do are usually better within a week.

The major concern lies in a possible connection between the Zika virus in pregnant women and microcephaly in newborns. While this connection has yet to be definitively proven, the possibility is strong, and pregnant women in countries with the virus must take extra precautions.

The first cases of Zika were confirmed in Haiti in January and the Haitian Ministry of Health is in the process of developing a coordinated national response view it. While C2C has yet to treat any patients presenting with the virus, we work in close partnership with the Ministry of Health and will adopt national protocols when they are established.

In the meantime, we are committed to helping to protect all pregnant women that are enrolled in C2C’s antenatal care program, over 600 women and growing, by distributing insect repellent and education about the dangers of standing pools of water as mosquito breeding grounds.   Additionally, Zika prevention awareness meetings will be incorporated into the weekly Community Health program. C2C’s focus is on promoting messages of prevention to vulnerable people and ensuring that pregnant patients are as protected as possible.

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.