Difficult Times to New Hope

Haiti has been through a very difficult time over the past 6 months due to acute socio-political instability. Fuel and food shortages have led to riots and an organized resistance movement. The objective of this unrest has been to force the president to resign. He has been targeted due to the widespread belief that he and his associates are involved in the diversion of funds  meant for Haitian people. The riots have led to 3 months of school closures and unsafe travel conditions both in Port au Prince and country wide. So far the president has resisted resignation.
Currently, there appears to be calm and the schools have just re-opened. Patients have been forced to suffer at home due to their inability to reach medical help. In addition, nurses and physicians have been unable to reach many hospitals. Fortunately, this situation is resolving and support is desperately needed.

Dr. Henri Lanctin and David Weigel from Prairie Lakes Healthcare System with shipment of supplies for Haiti.

Although Project Haiti has been forced to cancel several medical trips due to these safety concerns, we remain in close touch with our colleagues. They have been through a time when they were more concerned about personal and family safety than learning. Despite the dangers, we have heard stories about the sacrifices they have made for their patients They are now anxious to resume training and provide broader medical care to their patients. Accordingly, we are scheduling several workshops for later this spring. Assured that it would arrive safely, we have just shipped over 1,000 lbs of supplies and equipment for urology and laparoscopic surgery. These items are critically needed as the economical situation is even worse than usual in Haiti.
Thank you to all of our supporters who make this work possible. We hear so much frustration by our colleagues due the obstacles they have faced over and above their usual difficulties.

American Urological Association Annual Meeting

Dr. Lanctin and Dr. Burks at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Chicago with poster presentation of our urological work in Haiti by Dr. Angelo Gousse, representing the Global Association for the Support of Haitian Urology (GASHU).

 

2019 AUA Annual Meeting

REPORT: Cap Haitian April 2018

Cap Haitian April 20-27, 2018

Dr Jory Desir greeted a portion of our team at the airport in Cap Haitian. Our team included Dr Joe Costa MD, Dr Henri Lanctin MD, Dr Phil Abbosh MD, Dr Chip Carnes MD (HO4), Dr Sabine Nguyen MD (HO 4), Statia Smith RN and Dr Joe Babiarz MD.  After a short lunch we traveled to the University Hospital Justinian where Dr Dube, hospital director, greeted us as well.  After a tour of the facilities and Dr Lanctin delivered the anxiously anticipated new Bovie machine and the Olympus flex cystoscope and the Stryker camera and light source.   We began an evaluation of facility needs including space in the operating theater for urology equipment to assist with efficiency as physicians are currently having to transport all equipment across the campus to the operating room on the day of cases.

Dr. Lanctin and Dr. Desir test donated equipment on arrival.

Several patients were then evaluated including some with vesicovaginal fistula and some men with urethral stricture disease.  The day ended with a dinner hosted by Dr. Desir and Dr. Dube at the LaKay.

On Day 2 our team along with our Haitian colleagues evaluated additional patients with fistulae and urethral obstruction.  Both residents and staff physicians from the US and Haiti participated in this hands on interactive session.  Preparation in the operating room occurred as well for upcoming surgeries to begin in the morning.  Patients were then jointly reviewed and the physicians created a plan for the operations to be accomplished by Haitian surgeons assisted by US surgeons.  In addition, the remainder of our team arrived.  This included Dr. Bill Cleary, Lura Spears CRNA and Kelly Joe Gabel who will assist in teaching of the anesthesia providers from Haiti.  The focus of the trip is in expanding the knowledge and skills of our Haitian colleagues in both urology and anesthesia.

On Day 3 through 6 the team assisted the Haitian urologists and anesthetists in performing complex bladder fistula repairs and complex urethral repairs not only improving patients’ quality of life but developing local team operative skills so that these repairs are available locally through native surgeons and under the anesthetic care of local providers in the future.  US resident physicians Dr Cheeps Cairnes and Dr Sabine Nguyen and Statia Smith were critical to the success of the workshop working with local operating room staff including circulating nurses, surgical techs and recovery room staff to build efficient team work.   The skills of the local providers were excellant but their outcomes and future success will depend on continued infrastructure support including equipment, facilities and operations.  The equipment delivered by Dr Lanctin was used throughout the week including the Storz endourology equipment, the Stryker Camera, the bovie machine, suture and equipment provided by Project Haiti and the flexible cystoscope. An additional future needs assessment was carried out with the assistance of local urologists, anesthesiologists, residents and administrators. 

Left:  Dr. Tellusme Jolius, a Haitian urology resident, performs a urethral repair with his attending, Dr. Desir Jory and calm US urologist Dr. Joe Costa, as residents and medical students look on.  Right: Dr. Bill Cleary teaching Haitian anesthesia students and staff. 

  

Top: Dr. Joe Costa delivers state of the art lecture to staff, residents and medical students. Bottom: Culmination of trip when Haitian staff urologist Dr. Desir leads Haitian resident urologist through case with Haitian anesthesia students and staff providing anesthesia as Dr. Costa looks on. 

Left: Dr. Joe Babiarz directs Haitian Urologists while performing a complex vesicovaginal fistula repair. Medical College of Georgia (IVU Med sponsored resident) Chip Carnes in background assists with teaching surgical assist/tech skills.
Right: Dr. Joe Babiarz and Dr. Jory Desir after another successful case.