By Fred J. McGlynn, MD
We have been traveling to Haiti since 1990 as part of the Salva Vida Medical Foundation. This foundation sponsors mission trips to Haiti, Honduras and Belize. Our goal is to work with those in need in Southern Haiti and support in a sustainable way the Haitian doctors, nurses and physiotherapists at Pazapa and Community Coalition for Haiti (CCH). The Pazapa is a school for students with special needs and disabilities. The CCH is an organization that helps arrange the mission trips and has built a hospital in Haiti.
At the end of each mission the surplus equipment, supplies and medications are donated to improve the care that local doctors can offer their communities. Despite the setbacks from Hurricane Sandy and the devastating earthquake in 2010, we saw remarkable progress to CCH and Pazapa on this trip.
In fact, CCH has two new operating rooms that allow safe care and allow us to use our talents to care for the Haitian people. Pazapa (‘one step at a time’ in Creole) is being rebuilt (70% complete) following the earthquake. We hope to see even more progress when we return in 2014. To learn more about CCH click on this link: http://cchaiti.org/ or for more information on Pazapa click on this link: http://pazapa.org/
This trip was a re-baptism for me in the sense that I realized the true reason I love medicine and what I do for a living. I was also able to reflect on who we are and the blessings that we and our families have. We saw 100+ children during our November visit and have arranged 30+ surgical cases that will be performed in February 2014. A group of 14 physicians and nurses will make the trip back to Haiti to operate and run the clinics during our week long mission. We hope to correct the deformities that give these patients and their families little hope in such a demanding environment
To read about a child that I operated on in Haiti follow this link: http://cchaiti.org/surgery/orthopedics/
Without the support of the passionate volunteers and the support of Salva Vida these patients would have no hope of receiving care. For more information about Salva Vida or ways you can help, please call 804-287-7700 or follow https://www.bsvaf.org/salvavida/
Fred McGlynn, MD