Our mission Group consisted of 3 dentists, 2 physicians , one triage manager, one dental student(senior) as well as a premed student. The local NGO in Haiti, Heartline Ministries, provided wonderful interpreters, assisting personnel, drivers and housing. They provided for a secure arrival at Porte au Prince and protection for the medical and dental supplies and equipment that we arrived with from the US.
In Haiti we treated patients at two locations in Porte au Prince, Village Theodat (Heartlines headquarters) and Three Angels an orphanage in the hills surrounding the city. Midweek we visited a fishing village, Ravine Seche, and treated patients there. Altogether we treated between 300 and 350 patients.
The most common problems were pain and infection. Many patients, even the young , suffered hypertention due to salt intake, dehydration and malnutrition. There was little evidence of recovery from the earthquake, people still in tent cities, lack of clean water, buildings in ruin and roads barely passable. Many people had missing limbs. Many of the children in orphanages were left without parents after the earthquake.
Dentally we primarily did extractions however we also were able to deliver many amalgam and composite restorations. Many prophys were done as well as extensive Fluoride applications for children and adults. We have a goal to arrange an ongoing preventive program with fluoride that we hope to institute in the Fall in the areas visited in June.
The Haitian people who worked at our sides interpreting and assisting were truly a gift to us- the people we treated were patient and easy even after hours of waiting in pain.