Our Second Mission to Haiti

 

DataCeutics helped sponsor the second mobile Medical/Nutrition Clinic trip to Beaudois, Haiti in January, which was a huge success.

 

Back in 2010, a massive 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti taking over 300,000 lives and destroying the homes of 2.3 million people. A team of eleven people, sponsored by NorthPointe Community Church (NPCC) in Limerick, Pennsylvania, travelled to Haiti to lend a hand, and continue to do so today. One of the biggest problems facing the people of Haiti right now is widespread malnutrition, and little access to basic medical care. That is the focus of Taffy Bowman, Tom Kratz and the rest of the NPCC medical team. DataCeutics is proud to be a partner in their efforts.

 

The team included nurses, retired nurses, a physician, a construction expert, and people who want to lend a hand. The reason Beaudois has been chosen as a place for the NPCC team to return to and support, time and time again, is because the church in the town is an official sister church of NPCC.

Even though the earthquake is long past, there continues to be many brutal problems facing the people of Haiti today. These include malnutrition, poor access to clean drinking water, little access to modern medicine, and lack of housing to mention a few. This trip, unlike the previous trip where the team visited a total of 3 communities, was focused on Beaudois. With limited resources, the team felt that they would be more effective by committing to a single community like Beaudois.  It was deemed unfeasible, at this time, to properly assist multiple communities on this trip. 

The NPCC team’s goal is to make life better for the people of Beaudois, and with every trip they learn more about how to better assist the people for the next visit. The first thing the team wanted to know when they reached Beaudois was how effective their efforts were from the last visit in helping the people in the community. The leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 is malnutrition.  In the last visit, the micronutrients donated by DataCeutics were provided to people in the community to combat this malnutrition. It was wonderful news to hear that the micronutrients went a long way in helping the populace fight malnourishment and it was also great to hear that many of the people in the community had a good understanding on how to properly use the micronutrients.

At the 2016 clinic, the severely malnourished children represented 14 percent of the total children seen, and the moderately malnourished children represented 20 percent. In 2017, we saw an overall 4% percent decrease in children affected by moderate or severe malnutrition. Here are the numbers from this trip of the people seen and treated. Note that many people have to walk for over an hour just to get to the clinic in Beaudois.

 

 

Outside of micronutrients, the team assisted in basic medical care as well. NPCC was fortunate to have a physician with them on this trip for the first time. The Haitians went through medical examinations consisting of checking blood pressure, height and weight, testing for anemia, and received vision examinations, intestinal deworming medication and a valuable Vitamin A treatment---medical support many in America are accustomed to. The team provided basic medical creams to help with skin problems like intense itching on their heads and skin; mouth sores and dental hygiene. These basic medical items go a long way to improving the quality of life. After the families have gone through their medical examinations, they were given a “take-home packet” which included basic medicine, micronutrients and information on how to use them properly.

Many in the Beaudois community volunteered to help the NPCC medical team in their efforts. Some were translators, some assisted at the medical stations and did what they could to maximize the efforts of the team. Jeffrey, who assisted the previous medical clinic, came again to help.  Jeffrey was given a computer, donated by DataCeutics, to help further his education, and that he did. Last visit, he had a basic understanding of English, but this time around he had a full, almost fluent, understanding. “He was very excited and eager to volunteer to help us and “pay it forward,” the help we gave him,” said Taffy, Bowman. English is not a predominately spoken language in Haiti, they speak mainly Haitian Creole and French, so having a person who can translate can go a very long way especially when it comes to explaining medical needs and conditions.  Jeffrey’s help was indispensable.

Toward the end of the trip when things started calming down, the team had the opportunity to visit the children at the Child Development Center. Coloring books and crayons were passed out by the team to the 10 children currently living there and they were SUPER excited!  In appreciation, they blessed the volunteers with a song, “This is the Day.” The team discovered the center, where the Medical Clinic took place, was deteriorating and in extremely poor condition.  The community is in desperate need of a new orphanage/community center. Coming away from this trip, the team is more driven than ever to help raise the funds needed to rebuild the orphanage/community center building.

The NPCC team had an extremely productive trip to Haiti this year, but they still have a lot more work to do to ensure proper nutrition, shelter and infrastructure are provided for those in need.

NPCC’s Goals for the immediate future:

1.       Raising funds for a feeding program for the children identified in the moderate – severe malnourished category;

2.       Raising funds for the construction of a 2-room building to be designated for the Child Survival Program; and  

3.       Raising Funds for the construction of the Orphanage/Community Center.
 

If you would like to donate or get involved, please go to:

http://www.npccpa.org/giving and specify Haiti Mission or http://www.rhccpa.org

 

History of DataCeutics’ Involvement

DataCeutics’ connection with NorthPointe started with employee Cheryl Fournier initiating the interaction with NorthPointe Community Church, local to DataCeutics. Initially, DataCeutics donated laptops for 7th and 8th grade students to help with their education. As Tom Kratz (Cheryl’s brother who heads up the Haitian Ministry) and the church were planning to send a medical team to Haiti, DataCeutics was asked to partner with them and gladly did so!