Health for Haiti 2015: Work Starts in Grande Saline

Today was another great day for the 2015 Health for Haiti class. We were up and out very early to make the long drive to Grande Saline. Although we only had to travel about 70 miles, the trip takes 3 to 4 bumpy, bumpy hours.

When we arrived in Grande Saline hundreds of children were waiting for us in the church/community building. Before setting up for our three big projects, the students provided some oral hygiene education. The students did a great job and the kids loved practicing tooth brushing with the puppets!

After that, we all got to work.  Team Health Clinic was lead by Professor Hankin. She started with a student orientation of the clinic operation and the student responsibilities. The student team included Nancy, Jaime, Heather, Sierra, Mackenzie, Olivia, Sonia and Jocelyn. The students set up the clinic and pharmacy. The clinic ran very smoothly this year! The students triaged the patients for Dr. Robinson. They took health histories (with the help of our awesome translators) and recorded heights, weights, temperature, blood pressure and patient symptoms. The height sticks and scale were very useful. Many of the patients had never had their height and weight recorded and were not sure how to step on the scale.  Also, the new health history forms were wonderful and Dr. Robinson really appreciated them. ( The citizens of Grand Saline have no medical records.) Team Health Clinic saw over 100 patients today.  Dr. Robinson shared his clinical impressions about the many different conditions that they saw. He is a wonderful teacher and the students learned so many things from working with him.

Team Solar: Dr. Gay, Jen, Emily E., Emily C., Rachael, Kayla, Jean, Iyan and Alison unpacked their equipment from the shipping container. Nothing was damaged and Dr. Gay put everyone right to work! The students took apart the shipping crates and used the wood to build a box for the batteries.  We also received a tremendous amount of help from Esterling, Tida and other friends from Grande Saline. Under Dr.  Gay’s leadership, the students hammered, drilled and wired. Alison, Iyan and Esterling even made it on to the roof! We got about half way through the project before we had to leave. We are all learning so much and feel very fortunate to have our own rocket scientist here with us. We are excited to finish the project on Saturday and power up the new and improved Grande Saline computer lab! Today we delivered 12 more laptops, eight of them are brand new (thanks to Sandy Wright from SUNY Broome!) and the rest the awesome Panasonic Toughbooks from Geodis.  All of the laptops were prepared with our “Haiti Build” thanks to Jack Rappaport from BDDP.  We also delivered the achievement certificates and teacher badges created by the awesome Project Management class at SUNY Broome. Our teacher in Grande Saline, Tida, is so excited to be able to offer classes to even more of the children in Grande Saline.

Team Water: Jodi, Paula, Tom, Nick and JJ unloaded many items from the container, with a lot of help from some Grande Saline residents. All of the equipment looked to be in great shape. They experienced some delays because it took some time to find enough gas to run the generator. Although they made good progress today, it looks like Team Water will have to make the long trip to Grande Saline tomorrow and Saturday.  It is just so wonderful that our container made it to Grande Saline just in time for our class. We want to say another big THANK YOU to Geodis for helping us to get the container to Grande Saline and to Pall for the donation of the state of the art Pall AX-1 system (and for lending us two of the most awesome and nicest engineers on the planet: Paula and Jodi)!

As you can see from the pictures, there was a tremendous amount of interest in all of our work today. Everyone on the 2015 Health for Haiti Team is so grateful for the opportunity to bring health care, solar power, and access to clean water to our friends in Grande Saline.

One thought on “Health for Haiti 2015: Work Starts in Grande Saline

  1. When I saw the pictures of the children, the incredible impact of everything that you are all doing there hit me full force. I can barely contain the emotion. You are all in my thoughts and prayers…and my heart is filled with pride that I have such amazing colleagues and students. Sending love…..

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