Doctor Michel Edouard is a member of the Zanmi Lasante medical team that provided support in the South department during the earthquake of August 14, 2021, and he is one of the coordinators of the mobile clinics, set up by Zanmi Lasante staff.
Today, he welcomes his patients to Coteaux, a remote town in the South department of Haiti. "I organize with our team on-site the various mobile clinics that have to travel through the region. Before any activity, I communicate with a site manager, who gives the doctors permission to settle there. Collaboration with community leaders, he continues, facilitates the smooth running of the activity."
These mobile clinics made up of doctors, nurses, and psychologists, are deployed in the field, in order to provide free medical care and psychological support to survivors of the earthquake of August 14, 2021, and to people deprived of access to health services. Priority is given to earthquake victims, the vast majority of whom do not have access or sufficient financial means to seek treatment in an appropriate health center. The clinics also receive a lot of elderly people and pregnant women who often walk for hours to reach the assembly point.
The progress of mobile clinics
Clinicians are organized into 4 sections: the patient triage area, consultation booths, pharmacy and dressing, and the emergency management booth. A workspace is also set up for psychologists, who can receive patients in groups or individually according to their preferences.
The medical teams receive between 150 to 300 people per day per mobile clinic. Throughout the day they see patients with hypertension, diabetes, skin diseases, and infections, among other things. “It’s not always easy to serve everyone in the clinic,” explains Dr. Michel. Oftentimes, some of our medication runs out; vitamins and antibiotics run out faster."
The care of people who are seriously ill and requiring tests to confirm a diagnosis is also a concern. For many of these patients, appropriate hospital follow-up would be more appropriate. However, these mobile clinics remain an effective means of helping people living in the most remote areas. “What always surprises me is to see that generally, the whole family comes for consultation: the father, the mother, and the children because, in addition to treating the sick, the clinicians of Zanmi Lasante also educate on good hygiene practices, ”notes Dr. Edouard.
“Beyond medical care,” he adds, “these people are in dire need of financial support; I receive them with a feeling of helplessness sometimes, he says, because I can only give them medical help. Many of them are in dire need of psychological counseling. A single consultation at the mobile clinic is not enough".