Orphanages, Septic and ER Transfers..
JUNE 20, 2011 BY 1 COMMENT
Back in Canada I tend to nag the Haiti team for more frequent information for these updates. Now that I have been here a week in Haiti (and hardly blogged) I have a little more empathy for how things work.
Days start at 5:30am, traffic is horrendous, the heat is intense, and the work is long. The logistics of emergency patient transfers, orphanage visits, vehicle maintenance, and supply purchases require constant planning and room for unexpected complications. Getting back to the compound while trying to get groceries for dinner (sometimes the first real meal of the day), and prepared for the next day doesn’t leave much time and energy for status reports. Add in power outages and limited internet bandwidth… well, enough said.
Late last week we visited Orphanage Foyer d’Orelph to finish up the septic project.
Septic is vital because without proper waste disposal, the children at the orphanage have a much higher chance of developing potentially life threatening conditions. Dysentery, cholera, and diarrhea can all be caused by lack of proper sanitation. Without proper medical attention (not always available in Haiti), these conditions can quickly lead to death.One in five children die in Haiti before their fifth birthday.
All this to say that for under $1,000 we were able to construct a septic system for the orphanage – where there was none before – that should be fully functional within the next few weeks. Septic isn’t sexy but it is an easy and inexpensive way to save countless lives – most of them children.
Thanks to our Haitian staff (Junior, Nelson, Eddie) and masons James and Evans for all their hard work.
Again, these are simple wounds and burns that in North America would not be given a second thought. In Haiti, infection can quickly lead to tetanus (a horrible and painful death) or gangrene, which in turn can end in amputation.
We are proud to provide these medical visits at no cost to the orphanages.
Our nights have been ending with calls for emergency transfers. This week alone we had calls for 6 year old cholera child (hope you are feeling better Samantha), and 28 week pregnant woman.
Late nights, early mornings. For my time in Haiti, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
ps: Thanks so much to Summer Stumpf of Fast Signs in Bellvue, WA for the new MMRC Haiti banners!
(Canadian flag duct tape compliments of Nanci..)