Liza Lizarraga, MD MPH: Morristown Medical Center, OBGYN PGY4
Haiti: November 2015
Cap Haitien, Haiti is a city struck with poverty, and its population's access to basic medical care is limited by a short supply of medicine, medical equipment and a lack of basic infrastructure. The obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) community in Cap Haitien has many unmet needs. The public hospitals and its physicians have limited capacity to perform OB and GYN ultrasonography due to a lack of ultrasound equipment and training. We were able to identify this as an area where we could make a long-lasting sustainable impact.
Thanks to the generosity of the Benjamin H. Josephson Fund and the organization Hands Up for Haiti (HUFH), I was able to share a week in November 2015 with the OBGYN residents and attending physicians from Cap Haitian's public hospitals. Together with my attending physician, Judy Banks, and HUFH we donated two portable ultrasounds to Hopital de la Convention Baptiste d'Haiti and Hopital Justinien. Our small team helped deliver prenatal care to many Haitian patients in all stages of pregnancy.
During my service trip I was invited to participate in daily rounds, deliveries and cesarean sections. I was also able to meet and learn from alternate providers of care in obstetrics, these included midwifery groups and matrons (traditional birth attendants). In spite of the hardships lived in Haiti, its people are still very joyous and beautiful. This experience has led me to appreciate the abundances seen in our health care system and it has inspired me continue my work in Haiti with colleagues and friends after I graduate.
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