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Being a mother, an eternal profession

It is in these words that Doctor Benoucheca Pierre, Head of the Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital of Mirebalais (HUM), describes her journey as a mother. “Dividing up between family and professional tasks requires courage and is sometimes a very delicate situation,” she says.

Dr. Pierre joined the Zanmi Lasante (ZL) family in 2018. A doctor since 2011, she completed her training with a specialization at the Picardie Jules Verne University. Returning to Haiti from her studies in France where she trained in intensive medicine, Benoucheca, after having worked for several local hospitals, took up residence at HUM because, there, she felt able to practice her specialty closer to her experience in France. She had joined an institution where the equipment and materials suited the work for which she had been trained.

Yes, I'm happy with my choice to join ZL. I feel good. It's really a family and, as head of department, I feel listened to. I have a very good collaboration both with my colleagues and with the leadership. They trust me and we work in agreement with one another.

Dr. Pierre was responsible for the COVID-19 care unit at HUM. The country's first two confirmed cases had been sent to HUM for treatment, making the hospital the first in Haiti to treat COVID-19 patients. Thanks to the quality treatment and respect for the dignity of patients at HUM, ZL has become one of the most demanded and trusted healthcare facilities in the country. “Covid-19 was a new pathology. There were patients who showed up with enormous breathing difficulties, and we were able to get them out of the intensive unit and discharge them,” says Dr. Pierre proudly. “It’s really a great accomplishment,” she adds.

From an early age, Benoucheca enjoyed taking care of sick people around her. This is why after her classical studies she already felt that medicine had chosen her. “Pride for me is being able to treat critical patients and get them out of the intensive unit,” she says. Today, Benoucheca is the mother of an 8-year-old son. She reveals with great emotion that it was very difficult for her to juggle her pregnancy and her medical studies.

It's not easy to be a professional woman and a mother,” she admits. “It's even more difficult in a country with limited resources like Haiti.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Pierre had, with the support of ZL, moved her family to Mirebalais where she worked ardently. She brilliantly knew how to listen to the families of patients who were enduring difficult times while juggling her own family with whom she avoided any risk of contamination. “I was thinking at those times of all the mothers: the nurses, caregivers, auxiliaries and other staff who worked like me in these difficult times,” says Benoucheca.

On this occasion of Mother's Day, Dr. Pierre has only one thought for Haitian mothers and those around the world: “I wish them courage,” she says. “I learned that being a mother is an eternal profession that we will keep until the end of our lives.” She further explains that mothers should not only be celebrated on this day but every day. “They can overcome anything even if the task is not easy.

ZL is proud to be able to count Dr. Benoucheca Pierre among its heroines whose accomplishments speak for themselves.


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