Kim Block’s, RN:

Haiti: January 2017

 I just returned from my third medical mission to Haiti with Hands Up for Haiti. Leading this trip was Atlantic Health System attending pediatrician Dr. Hement Kairam. Haiti is a beautiful country, whose people, despite the poverty, are joyful and prayerful, patient and kind. The team of three attendings, three pediatric residents from AHS, one medical student, one graduate student, and two nurses, visited a different clinic site each day to provide care. My job, as one of those nurses, was to triage, i.e. take vital signs and ascertain, through an interpreter, what brought them to the clinic that day. I saw EVERY one of the patients that then went on to see a doctor for assessment, diagnosis and a treatment plan. The trip was supposed to be pediatric in nature, but we certainly did not turn anyone away. In the end, 50% of our patients were actually adults. We treated scabies and other skin diseases, coughs, colds, urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, malaria and among the adults, some diabetes and a lot of hypertension. All the children were given vitamins and dewormed.

 I can’t begin to describe how rewarding this work is, despite the less than ideal working and living conditions we face. We found practically NO malnutrition among the children, a testament to the excellent work of prior teams to educate parents and refer children at risk to Mamba clinics for supplements. Thank you, Ben Josephson Fund, for enabling me to serve again.