Category Archives: Haiti

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.

Updated Technology Ensures Accurate Data and Response to Community Needs

C2C believes accurate, timely data are vitally important to our provision of the best possible health care to families in Haiti. In the spring of 2014 launched an electronic medical records system at our Camp Coq clinic. The system was an enormous upgrade from the paper systems our clinical team had used previously. As our clinic opened in Acul du Nord clinic, the system was already in place for the new team, and will also roll out with each new clinic opening in 2016.

As our clinics and services grow, C2C ensures our technology grows with us. Various updates to the system have included tablet surveys and GPS capabilities for our Community Health Workers, inventory updates to manage the pharmaceutical and laboratory supplies. These updates allow our staff to respond efficiently to community needs, understand patient satisfaction and challenges, and prevent stockouts in our pharmacy (thereby saving patients time and travel).

According to C2C’s Global Programs Manager, Julia Maxwell, “We always strive to ensure we are responding to community needs, and we count on our technology to provide accurate data on our patients as well as our business metrics. Additionally, clinical staff have the opportunity – rare in Haitian clinical settings – to receive computer and business management coaching and practice.”

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

Mobile DJs and Radio Ads Spread the Word in Haiti

At our newest clinic in Acul du Nord, Haiti, which opened in May, our staff reach out constantly to increase community awareness of our quality and services. C2C uses tried and true marketing methods – radio ads, community/church announcements, and word of mouth – and has also taken advantage of a medium that is more unique to Haiti – mobile DJs.

Recently, our Haitian team members joined four loyal C2C patients at a community radio station in Acul du Nord. They discussed and recorded patients’ reasons for selecting C2C as their primary care provider. The recordings will be used in three new radio commercials that will air throughout the area. These ads will be aired on the radio, as well as through mobile DJs. These mobile DJs drive cars or trucks with loud sound systems through communities. They air commercials and announcements for residents who might not have access to radios.

Claudia, a patient who has visited the Acul du Nord clinic a number of times since it opened in May, will be featured in the new commercial. She said, “The reason I like C2C better than other clinics is because when I go to C2C, I know I will get results, which is not necessarily true at other places. Before my consultation at the C2C clinic I had several illnesses. After the consultation, all of them were cured.”

C2C has previously had great success with these types of public announcement ads; however, we are looking forward to featuring patient voices for the first time!

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

C2C Provides Free Maternal Health Care to Increase Safety for Moms and Babies in Northern Haiti

Maternal health is a critical component of community health care in any part of the world. In developing regions, however, the maternal mortality rate in is still 14 times higher than in developed regions (World Health Organization. Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990-2013. Geneva: 2014, online).  To combat this reality and give babies the healthiest start in life, C2C has rolled out a new program offering free care for moms-to-be in Northern Haiti.

Dr. Chanlatte, a gynecologist and obstetrician, visits our Camp Coq and Acul du Nord clinics twice weekly to offer prenatal and ob/gyn services. Pregnant women receive all prenatal lab tests, pharmaceuticals, and an ultrasound for free. They are encouraged to come for four visits, as recommended by the World Health Organization – or more, if necessary. All patients work with clinicians to create a safe birth plan that addresses any identified irregularities, each will receive follow-up care, and all are encouraged to bring their infants (and all children) to the clinic for free immunizations.

Since this program began in mid-August, more than 200 pregnant women have participated, receiving check-ups, counseling, lab tests, and prescriptions, free of charge. C2C expects to provide more than 500 maternal care visits in the coming year.

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

Newest Team Member Shares His Journey to C2C

Evens Simeon joined the C2C team in August, as our new Senior Project Manager in Haiti.  He brings with him many years of NGO experience in Haiti, including working with the World Food Programme and the United Nations.  Here, he shares his background as well as his hopes for C2C’s future.

Joining C2C is a great thing for me for several reasons. I like the idea of sustainability behind the model, and also feel the work we are doing is critical. As Senior Program Manager, I will put all my energy and expertise into the success of this project. I believe my country really needs organizations like this. I have shared a bit of my background below.

I attended the Universite Notre Dame d’Haiti where I studied Administrative Sciences (Management) for 4 years. Soon after completing this degree I started working in the Marketing field for Sogecarte, a subsidiary of Sogebank, a well-known institution in Haiti. After two years there I was hired by United Nations for Project Services, in their Communication Center project. I spent almost 7 years working as the National Communication Center Supervisor. Following the completion of that project in February 2013, I joined the World Food Programme (WFP) in Haiti as Senior Communication Center Supervisor.

After the WFP project concluded, a friend invited me to take part in a social project that he was planning, Entreprise Social Priorité Education Developpement. The goal of the project was to offer financial assistance to poor people who desired to study, and to make a library and a cyber-center available. I liked the idea of helping Haitians help themselves, and that led me to C2C.

 

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

C2C Partners with Haitian Social Business, Digo Distribution

It’s important to C2C to partner with local companies and organizations on the ground.  We recently did just that in partnering with Digo Distribution, a social business in Haiti that produces bulk liquid cleaning products: disinfectant cleaner, detergent, and bleach.  These products are crucial for Haitian families, especially during the rainy reason.

Digo Distribution is a Haitian-owned business that started as a commercial enterprise. Recently, motivated by a social mission, Digo wanted to reach more low-income people with their products. Yunus Social Business invested in the growth of Digo’s social arm, and partners like C2C bring the products to low-income customers.

By packaging the cleaning agents in bulk drums, customers can bring their own bottles or containers to “fill up” at the Digo station at the C2C clinic! This saves them the cost of purchasing a new product container each time — often a prohibitively expensive prospect for a poor family.

C2C is excited to offer these important products to our patients and to be working with an innovative Haitian-owned social business!

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

Community Health Screenings Bring Primary Care Directly to Families

At C2C we aim to reach as many people in the communities we work in as possible. Our Community Health Workers (CHWs) visit households on a daily basis, and our clinic staff see all patients who visit the clinic each day. To continue increasing the number of community members we can help, we’ve added a new feature through our Haiti clinics—community health screenings.

Once a week, our CHWs, along with our nurses and auxiliary nurses, set up a station at a local neighborhood spot, to serve women, children, and families. Community members can purchase a glucose test, and receive free blood pressure screenings, vaccinations, family planning materials, and water purification tabs.

Radio campaigns and local advertisements help spread the word for the service, announcing a different neighborhood each week. Locals can come at any time, pick up free materials, and learn more about the services offered at their nearby C2C clinic.  At our Camp Coq clinic alone, there were over 240 participants in the first two weeks.

“Participants were already crowding around the venue when we arrived. People have really appreciated this initiative. Some people even asked when the next visit to their area will be,” said our Camp Coq nurse, Herlande Duvot.

These screenings will allow C2C to provide quality health care to even more members of the Camp Coq and Acul du Nord communities!

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

Opening Day is Almost Here!

Care 2 Communities is excited to announce that our newest clinic is scheduled to open May 4, 2015! The clinic, equipped with an exam room, laboratory, and pharmacy, will be located in Acul du Nord in Northern Haiti, serving a community of 50,000 residents.

Months of preparation have gone into this opening. Since January, our team in Haiti has accomplished a great deal:

  • 528 household surveys, 4 focus groups, and 18 key stakeholder interviews have been completed, illuminating health care needs in Acul du Nord, as well as service and pricing expectations.
  • 1 site has been secured, through C2C’s partnership with the Mayor’s office in Acul du Nord and the Ministry of Health in Haiti’s Northern Department.
  • 2 Shipping Containers (containing exam spaces as well as room and equipment for a full laboratory and pharmacy) have been rehabbed and moved from our previous location in Port-au-Prince (where they are no longer necessary) to the prepared site in Acul du Nord.
  • 12 Local Advisory Committee members have been recruited and are currently advising C2C on service mix, opening events, pricing, and more.
  • 2 Community Health Workers have been hired and trained, and are currently visiting at least 15 households every day to share health and clinic information with families in Acul du Nord and the surrounding area.
  • 1 doctor, 2 nurses, and 1 lab technician, have been hired in Acul du Nord, and can’t wait to begin training and work on April 20th!
  • 1 well is being drilled to supply the clinic with clean, fresh water.

This clinic would not have been possible without the generous support of a number of alumni from the College of the Holy Cross and the Emerging Markets Trade Association, to whom we are truly grateful!

Check back later in the month for more updates on the Acul du Nord clinic, and feedback from opening day!

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

C2C Supporter Shares Thoughts on Her Recent Trip to Haiti

I arrived in Haiti with some “book knowledge” of the country’s history, the impact of its earthquake five years ago, and its current political, economic and social challenges. Like an armchair quarterback, though, I had no idea of the realities in the field. My senses were overwhelmed. My initial impressions are still a jumble of words, phrases and images that hit me: goats in the garbage; rubble or the beginnings of renewal; color, color, color; chaos, activity, energy; life lived on the street curb; pigs, urban pigs; activity and idleness side by side; social engagement; community.

We had a full and rewarding visit to the C2C clinic in the village of Camp Coq, where I found three crucial components. First, the local Steering Committee is comprised of respected men and women in the community. We heard from them about the value the clinic provides to Camp Coq and the opportunities they see ahead.

Next is the clinic. It is well situated near the school and church in the village, well maintained and clean, well designed, well equipped, and well stocked. The valued, local staff members are special. A professionally trained Haitian team provides clinical services and education at the clinic and in the community. We listened as these individuals spoke confidently about their roles and with pride in their contribution to this community.

Finally, the C2C model is so special because of local community support and involvement. We met patients and heard their personal stories. Among the numerous messages they communicated, two themes stayed with me: 1) the convenience and efficiency of access to local care, and 2) their comfort and confidence with the local staff.

Although this is a small, rural village in an exceedingly poor country, this is a vibrant and engaged community. Community members were generous with their hospitality, patient with our travel delays, and appropriately proud of the village’s hallmarks, including the clinic and their library. Camp Coq appeared to be a supportive and inclusive village, and the C2C clinic fits right in. I really value having had the experience to see the C2C model in action. I’m excited about C2C’s plans to bring its unique model of sustainable primary healthcare to new communities in the developing world.

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.