Bringing Modern Medical Technology to the Poorest of the Poor: Outreach Ultrasound Course at the ISUOG of the Saint Damien High Risk Maternity Ward

23-27th MAY 2011,

Paediatric Hospital NPFS Saint Damien, Tabarre – Haiti

The leading obstetrics and gynaecology specialists from the USA and Italy will train 16 Haitian physicians and midwives at the NPFS (Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs – NPH Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos) Saint Damien Hospital in Tabarre on 23-27th May 2011. The training will focus on ultrasound techniques which can help save the lives of mothers and children. This is the first outreach course run at St Damien Hospital by the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), which aims to help reduce the neonatal and maternity death rate in the country – one of the highest in the world. Ultrasound is essential for the early diagnosis of high-risk pregnancies and related conditions. It is also a valuable tool for assisting labour – the most delicate stage of pregnancy for both mother and child – helping to avoid emergencies through improved planning. However, ultrasound is not currently included in training for gynaecologists and obstetricians in Haiti.

The ISUOG hands-on course will start with a first session 23-27th May as part of a program lasting 18 months. The participants will be doctors and midwives from several maternity clinics in Haiti and from NPFS Saint Damien Hospital in Tabarre, where a High Risk Maternity Ward, set up by Francesca Rava – N.P.H. Italia Foundation, has been running since February 2010. The Foundation has funded the project and coordinated the work of more than 60 professional volunteers from Italy, including Professor Enrico Ferrazzi, also a trainer in the course.

This relevant scientific event will be officially inaugurated on Tuesday 24th at 4.30 p.m. in the presence of the Haitian Minister of Health and foreign authorities. They will be welcomed by the playing of the national anthems of Haiti, USA and Italy, by Father Richard Frechette, director of NPH Haiti since 1988, Dr Jean Edgar Aupont (Head of Maternity Department at Saint Damien), Dr Alfred Abuhamad (Chairman ISUOG Outreach Program).

The course is organized by ISUOG and Francesca Rava – NPH Italia Foundation, with General Electric’s technical partnership. Educational materials have been printed at the imprimerie of Francisvil – Cite Metye, the NPFS training professional centre nearby the Hospital.
Saint Damien is the premier paediatric hospital in Haiti and the only admission-free facility on the island, serving 30,000 children a year whose health care needs could not be met elsewhere in the country.

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