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Important Shipments Headed to Haiti

January 10, 2014

A lot is happening at St. Boniface today.  The hospital in Fond des Blancs deals with a normally crowded waiting room on the weekly market day, and the Boston office is pushing to get the January newsletter out.  But there is excitement brewing in Miami today as well, as a big shipment of supplies leaves the dock bound for Haiti, with more ready to go.

Many foundations and companies have been incredibly generous through a large number of in-kind donations recently, and the hospital is excitedly awaiting the shipment.  Packed on the ship leaving today are many supplies for the gleaming new laboratory.  With this new equipment, doctors will be able to make diagnoses faster and more accurately.

A new gel electrophoresis machine (the spiffily named Helena Spife 3000) allows lab technicians to identify specific antibodies that the body is producing against a disease, and help point doctors in the right direction for a diagnosis.  A new blood gas analyzer, which takes vital blood chemistry readings, will be extremely useful to doctors treating respiratory diseases and monitoring patients in intensive care.  Also among the goodies includes a new microscope and an autoclave, or sterilization machine, for cleaning laboratory and surgical supplies.  This equipment will make it easier for St. Boniface’s doctors to provide free, quality care in rural Haiti.

There are even more important shipments soon to leave the U.S.  The neonatal nurses at the hospital in Fond des Blancs are especially excited about one in particular.  When they heard two new incubators were on their way down, they danced for joy!  Also coming are bilirubin beds, or special warming beds for infants who are born with jaundice, a blood chemistry inbalance that can be life-threatening if left untreated.  Visiting surgical teams and the hospital OB/GYNs are also excited about a brand-new operating table, complete with all the bells and whistles, that will replace the old one currently in use.  In the future, C-sections and other surgeries will go much more smoothly.

A third shipment currently making its way to Haiti includes crucial medicines and supplies, most importantly life-sustaining meds for spinal cord injury patients.  When the Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic heard what medicines were coming and how many, she gasped out loud.

All of this would not be possible without a grant from World Learning/USAID and CBM, used to pay for the supplies in today’s shipment.  Similarly, we were able to buy the incubators, operating table, and bilirubin beds through a grant from the SG Foundation. Direct Relief International is delivering the third shipment of many medicines and supplies to Fond des Blancs.  We want to say a big, big thank you to these three foundations!  They allow us to continually raise the quality of care we provide.  We also want to thank you, our enthusiastic donor base, of course.  You make our work in Haiti possible.