- The chikunguya epidemic, transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes bites, in Haiti did not last long. Very rare cases were seen for the last quarter. Many adults are left with some residual ailments, mostly joint pain.
- Rehydration Unit: We are experiencing a new cholera outbreak again since August 2014. We are up to the 100 cases per month after it decreased to 0 cases or just 3 per month. Many rehydration places closed down explaining the importance for us to treat children coming from Cité Soleil and the nearby town of Croix des Bouquets.
- Oncology: FHACI: Fondation Haitienne Anti Cancer infantile is the name of the new foundation created to support the work of the oncology department of Saint Damien and pediatric cancer in the country in general. The group is made up of very dedicated volunteers with our St. Damien physician Dr. Pascale Gassant, head of the oncology, as its Secretary. FHACI will have a pre launch event on December 9, 2014 to gather more members for the cause.
- HIV/AIDS department reorganized its work to adapt to the loss of a 1/3 of their budget, starting October 1, 2014. PEPFAR, the US government program funding HIV/AIDS in Haiti has cut a third of its support to the country. The post natal clinic included in the HIV program moved to Manitane, the Saint Luc women health clinic. Unfortunately some of our staff members now work part time, a few lost their jobs and we had to stop our training for outside staff. It was a big challenge for Dr. Jenny Edouard, who became the coordinator for this program recently, and had to work hard with the staff for this painful adjustment. Luckily antiretroviral drugs were not impacted with the measures.
- Forty children in the HIV program attended a summer camp organized by the US worldwide orphan organization (WWO) in Kenscoff last August. This is the third camp offered by WWO to children living with HIV/AIDS in Haiti. The children had a wonderful experience while learning to live better with HIV/AIDS and improve their compliance to their treatment.
- SCIPH, Saint Damien Collaborative to improve pediatrics in Haiti, organized its third annual global health conference in Virginia last September, under the leadership of Dr James Schmidt from Kings Daughters hospital. The goal is to encourage pediatricians in the US to engage in global health activities while taking the opportunity to showcase Saint Damien’s work. The collaboration of NPH Italy office, Bambinu Gesu hospital in Rome and the neonatology department at Saint Damien was featured.
- Training for cardiac care: At the end of September, a multidisciplinary team left Saint Damien to go to Akron Children’s Ohio for a six week training in cardiac intensive care. Saint Damien will receive, on March 15, 2015, the visit of a cardiac surgical mission from Gift of Life International, a Rotary program.
Contributed by Dr. Jacqueline Gautier, Executive Director
NPH Haiti St. Damien Pediatric Hospital