Thanks so much to all the sponsors and the sell-out crowd at Selebrasyon 2015, who helped C2C raise more than $50,000 to support our programs in Haiti!
Guests heard about C2C’s amazing programs in Haiti – serving thousands of families in the North – from Founder, Elizabeth Sheehan, and COO, Allison Howard-Berry. They also danced to Haitian music by Tiz Kompa, enjoyed authentic Haitian food by Sunrise Caribbean Cuisine, perused the auction filled with Haitian arts and crafts, and won stays in three vacation spots. These amazing holidays included a week in a beautiful home in Turkey (donated anonymously), and weekends in homes in New Hampshire (donated by Lynn Hamlin and Tom Maxwell) and Massachusetts (donated by Gerald and Maureen Sheehan).
The event will support C2C’s programs in Haiti, including clinics in Camp Coq, Acul du Nord, and more to open soon!
In February 2014, C2C’s newest clinic in Camp Coq, Haiti, began selling off-the-shelf eyeglasses to residents in the community. Leveraging the well-established success of VisionSpring’s model (www.visionspring.org), the C2C team is optimistic that we are not only offering a high-impact service to the local community but could add as much as 5% in additional revenue each year to help offset annual clinic operational expenses. With the help of VisionSpring’s materials, all staff members were trained on how to conduct a simple eye test to help customers determine which power magnification they needed in their eyeglasses. Now glasses are available for sale at an affordable price both at the clinic and through community health workers who travel door-to-door with health education and information about the clinic’s services.
Who hasn’t stared with at least a little confusion at an ultrasound picture? Is that really the baby’s head? Those fuzzy pictures connect us to babies before we can hold them. They link us to our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and the children of friends – all of whom we can’t wait to meet! Even more important, they help doctors identify and address many complications before they endanger mother or baby.
Unfortunately, most soon-to-be parents worldwide don’t have access to this technology that we take for granted. Doctors and nurses practicing in the developing world are often unable to spot difficulties in time to save lives. By including ultrasound as part of comprehensive prenatal care, we can address many of the World Health Organization’s top causes of maternal and neonatal mortality: hemorrhage, obstructed labor, asphyxia, birth injuries, and preterm births.
Thanks to generous funding this year from MA and James Gallerani, the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation, and the Jack Tarver Foundation, expectant mothers visiting our clinic in Port-au-Prince do have access to ultrasound technology. Our clinicians are able to identify abnormalities early, determine gestational age and estimate due dates, and monitor uterine cysts and other conditions that might become dangerous. They are able to diagnose issues on the spot – without asking the mother to wait, return to the clinic in a week, or travel for a referral. For women who often journey hours to our clinic, it is critical that they are able to access necessary care quickly and in one location.
As we all look forward to a bright 2013, I would like to introduce you to Rosemonde and Joulie (pictured above and below). They are especially hopeful for the New Year, and have much to look forward to as they wait to meet the babies they have just seen for the first time. From all of us at C2C, here’s to a beautiful New Year for our patients, our supporters, and our organization’s growth to serve thousands more women and children!
Despite the challenges of occasional pharmacy stock-outs, diagnostic equipment failures, and staff shortages, Containers 2 Clinics continues to deliver quality antenatal care to the women and children in central Port-au-Prince. And word is getting out. On a recent trip, it became clear that women are coming from farther and farther outside Port-au-Prince because they have heard that they can receive reliably-comprehensive care from the C2C clinic at Grace Children’s Hospital. So they queue up at 6am in order to be at the front of the triage line when the hospital gates open at 8am. But for them it is worth it to know that they won’t have to go elsewhere for consultation, diagnostic testing or medications. In fact, they repeatedly ask if they can deliver their babies in the clinic.
When I arrived on Monday, December 5th, it was my twelfth trip to Haiti. As C2C’s Director of Operations, I first came to Haiti just sixty days after the devastating January 2010 earthquake to work in partnership with AmeriCares to develop clinic sites in a country whose health system had reverted to chaos. C2C entered Haiti with one objective: to work in partnership with local institutions and to support their recovery efforts by providing focused, integrated maternal and child health services for Haiti’s most vulnerable people.
Douglas Hodgkins Photography
In March 2010, the Port-au-Prince airport was still in disarray: one runway was functional and visitors and aid workers entered the country through a temporary warehouse which functioned as both immigration center and logistics ground-zero. I was reminded of that first trip on Monday when I was processed swiftly and efficiently through immigration. The customs official welcomed me warmly to Haiti and I was handed a tourism brochure. What a difference nearly two years can make.
These days, we travel to the C2C clinic and partner sites on roads that are reasonably cleared of rubble. Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in IDP camps; the traffic is still congested beyond description; and Haitian people still struggle to meet their basic needs. But things have changed – not fast enough, but for the better. The influx of relief and aid organizations has thinned and streamlined its collective efforts.
Tori Stuart Photography
Despite hurricanes, cholera outbreaks, periods of civil unrest, and pharmaceutical shortages, the C2C clinic continues to do what it set out to do over a year ago: to provide women with high-quality health services. Over 9,000 women have been treated at the C2C clinic. Drs. Roche and Justin, physicians on-site daily at the C2C clinic, provide comprehensive pre-natal care to pregnant women. Our nurses triage patients upon arrival at the clinic and manage medical records, tracking the progress of each woman’s pregnancy. On average day at the C2C maternal health clinic, 40 women receive urgently needed care – a testament to our partner, Grace Children’s Hospital, whose staff has worked tirelessly to rebuild a 40-year old local health institution.
In 2012, C2C will integrate two programming additions to our service delivery: community health education and ultrasound technology. Health education services will focus on preventive care on important topics like: healthy pre-natal and post-natal practices, proper breastfeeding and infant care techniques, HIV/AIDS prevention education, and sanitation and hygiene. By introducing ultrasound technology, our pre-natal patients will be better served by identifying dangerous obstetric complications early and identifying solutions to ensure safe delivery.
C2C is working to grow its clinic presence in Haiti and to expand our ability to more reach women and children, to help keep families healthy, and to support local institutions to grow their capacity to serve patients in the year ahead.