Happening At St. Joseph Clinic
Peter J. Dirr
The purpose of this trip to St. Joseph Clinic in Thomassique,
Haiti, was to check on the progress of the many health-related projects that are underway and to give support to the two Medical
Missionaries Global Health Fellows and the staff of the clinic. The trip also provided our chief engineer, Ron Burrell,
and his assistant, Yvon Aristide, an opportunity to give much needed attention to some of the clinic infrastructure, including
the electrical system, the water system, and the maintenance program. The clinic continues to provide excellent
care to the sick of Thomassique and the surrounding area. Day in and day out, the doctors, nurses, lab technicians,
midwives, and support staff of the hospital treat patients, deliver babies, and conduct education sessions to promote good
health practices. The two Golbal Health Fellows support their work in the clinic and conduct several sickness prevention
programs. One of the benefits of this trip was to explore ways to reach out to and work cooperatively with other organizations
that are in the region to improve health conditions.
This is the "rainy season" in the Dominican Republic
and Haiti. We experienced that twice on our journey from Banica (Dominican Republic) to Thomassique (Haiti). Although
it is only about a 20 or 25 mile trip, it takes at least two hours and crosses seven "rivers" (some are only streams
most months of the year). This time the trip took us three hours. At one of the rivers we got stuck and had to
be pulled out by a truck. (I sat dry in the car while the driver got out, rolled up his pants, and put a chain around
the frame of our car so the truck could pull us.) At another river (shown in this photo), we got stuck again but the
driver was able to back us up to the shore so he could get a running start and push us across the river. Again, I stayed
in the car to take this photo.
Most of the rest of our trip was not as exciting.
We had brought 10 suitcases of
medical supplies for the clinic and picked up five boxes of medicines in the Dominican Republic. The Medical Missionaries
truck brought those supplies plus 260 boxes of school lunch food to the clinic. The medical supplies and medicines were
brought to the clinic, while the school food was stored in sea containers purchased specifically for that purpose.
I hope you enjoy these reports of the many things we accomplished during the week.