Twelve members of Hamilton Mill Presbyterian Church in Hoschton, Georgia spent a week in Haiti this past fall, providing medical and dental care in mountainous villages around Leogane. The team consisted of four providers, two nurses, one Haitian dentist and his assistant, and six non-medical personnel. The non-medical personnel handled the pharmacy, triage, and crowd control. Seven young Haitians helped with translating from Creole to English in the various areas of the clinic. The team held six clinics during the week, all outdoors under tarps and surrounding homes. Some areas were not easily accessible, as the team had to cross a river at eight different sections and climb up and down the steep mountains to reach certain areas.
The team successfully treated 587 medical patients and 88 dental patients. Many of the medical concerns were diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, scabies, ear infections, and gastrointestinal problems. In addition to providing access to medications, the team was able to educate their patients on how to monitor their conditions through nutrition and exercise. Each patient received a hygiene kit consisting of a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, washcloth, and soap.
Over 100 children received fluoride treatment and walked away with a brand new toothbrush, tube of toothpaste, and floss provided by Henry Schein Cares. Since children eat a lot of sugar cane in Haiti, the team’s hope is that the use of the dental supplies will help save the teeth of the children who received them. We are very grateful to Henry Schein Cares for the donations that we otherwise would not have had. Since doctors and clinics are not readily available to people in the villages of Haiti, it was amazing to me to think that some of the patients we treated walked over the mountains for several hours to be able to get treatment and waited more than an hour to see a provider. The people of Haiti are so very kind and appreciative of our help. Hugs and handshakes were readily given and received.