Clinic in Titanyen, Haiti
Montesinos Orphanage and Environmental Technical School is located northeast of Port-Au-Prince and along the south side of the national highway “Route National Numero 1”. The orphanage, school and church sit on the top of the hill with the ocean toward the south and mountains toward the north. The town of Titanyen is located along the northern side of the highway. The foundation houses, feeds, clothes and educates approximately 80 orphans. Another 220 children come from the town for schooling and two meals a day.
Sustainable Healthcare for Haiti (SHH) is very pleased to be teaming up with Foundation Montesinos on a healthcare clinic for all the school children at their site. Foundation Montesinos already maintains a mission of providing life skills education for the children and adding healthcare will be a natural progression. SSH plans to assist the foundation by providing a healthcare intervention and education program with a strong emphasis on the children taking responsibility for their own health.
SHH members have traveled to Haiti several times and visited the Montesinos orphanage and school. The foundation has offered SHH the use of 800 SF of space. With minimal construction, it can be converted to a clinic with an exam room, a consult room, workspace for at least two healthcare workers and storage for supplies and vaccinations. A new solar panel would support lighting, refrigeration and computers/internet.
The clinic would be staffed by part-time volunteer physicians from abroad and employ healthcare workers. With contacts at the Ministry of Health a license to operate a clinic will be secured as the clinic fits in very well with the two most important Ministry initiatives: 1) healthcare for school children in poor areas, and 2) training of healthcare workers - the Ministry has developed their own program and will provide all the materials. The Ministry also provides free vaccinations, de-worming medications and vitamin A, as well as free healthcare educational materials specifically for school children.
Healthcare initiatives for the first year would include a de-worming campaign, screening for TB and other infectious diseases, providing bed nets for all children, administration of vaccinations and checking for skin issues and malnutrition. If the above initiatives are met, the first year could also include specialty clinics in orthopedics, dental, infectious disease, optometry and nutrition. All of this will be supported by the implementation of health education by Haitian community health workers trained to inspire trust in the children. Programs will address topics such as young women learning about their reproductive cycle, issues related to puberty, and the importance of clean water. Haitian healthcare workers will become a trusted adult companion in the case of hospital visit for an illness, and will implement the TB buddy system. The TB buddy system will teach children the signs of TB and how to look for signs of TB in other children.
A key component of both the clinical care and educational initiative is the implementation of a personal Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that identifies children on a tablet device using only their thumbprint and is accessible to the children at any time of the day or night. Information is stored in “the cloud” and, because of the thumbprint identification, can follow the children wherever their lives lead them. Using a new technology, this simplified software allows for patient registration, vitals capture, diagnosis, treatment, case review and administrative task support. The software will contain understandable graphs and charts so the children can see how they are growing, thriving and developing, as they learn to use the information as a tool to maintain their well-being.
SHH would also like to integrate of the school's agricultural curriculum into our landscape curriculum where landscape architects and nutritionists will teach about the nutritional value of foods they can grow in their climate, and plants that can heal common skin disorders and are natural, safe cleansing products for humans and the land.
SHH is committed to sustainable design for healthcare and has many architects and contractors with the expertise to expand the clinic described above into a larger resource for the town of Titanyen. The Montesinos site is perfect for this longer-term goal as at present there is no healthcare provider in Titanyen.
The design of a future structure is anticipated to take place with contributions from the children. The children will learn important visual and team skills, how to express their visions of a place they imagine as their own, and to see how their ideas can become real.