Howard University Sends Team to Support Medical Needs of Haiti
WASHINGTON (June 12, 2015) – For the fifth consecutive year, Howard University has responded to the needs in post-earthquake Haiti. In conjunction with the New York chapter of the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH NY) and the Haitian-American Alliance, a team from Howard University will embark on an ambitious, service-learning-based medical trip to Haiti, June 27 to July 6.
A team from the College of Medicine, which included physicians, instructors, medical residents and students, began traveling to the country four years ago as a humanitarian response to the devastating earthquake in 2010. This year, the scope of the project expanded significantly with the inclusion of teams from the College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Dentistry. Howard will send 18 students and faculty members to the country.
“This year’s medical service visit to Haiti is an extraordinary interdisciplinary and inter-professional experience,” said Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett, chief medical officer of Howard University Hospital. “As the field of medicine grows, we continue to learn that we provide better patient care with team-based approaches. Howard University is fortunate to have a full range of health sciences education. This gives us the ability to provide a broad array of health services as we seek to meet the needs of the Haitian people.”
The Howard medical teams have served nearly 3,000 Haitians during the years of the medical project. Working 12- to 14-hour days, Howard students and faculty have provided dental work and sexually transmitted disease (STD) training, distributed medications and conducted educational workshops for local physicians. The much-needed care and clinical training covered surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology.
The clinics were operated in the city of Fort-Liberté and in surrounding rural areas. The area has a desperate need for health-care support. There are only a handful of physicians for thousands of residents who often cannot afford the cost of health care. Aside from providing medical care, Howard physicians taught Haitian health-care providers the latest medical techniques in various fields. The team consisted of doctors from the departments of obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, pediatrics, pathology and anatomy. The lecture topics were chosen with assistance from the medical director at the hospital in Fort-Liberté.
Howard has been assisting Haiti since shortly after the earthquake hit. Each year since, Howard undergraduate students have also been working on the island as part of Alternative Spring Break. In 2010, Howard University Hospital donated an ambulance to the Fort-Liberté Hospital that was shipped to the island nation by NOAH NY.
About NOAH NY
NOAH NY is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization and is committed to providing underserved communities in Haiti with free medical care. Each year, NOAH NY organizes a week-long medical mission to a town or city in Haiti in order to provide everything from routine medical check-ups to life saving surgical procedures. In June 2009, NOAH NY partnered with the Haitian American Alliance (HAA), a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering the growth and development of Haitian-Americans, to provide free healthcare to thousands of men, women, and children in the town of Fort Liberte, Haiti. After a successful collaboration, NOAH NY and HAA will continue to work hand in hand on future medical missions.