(St. Thomas is celebrating 20 Years of Haiti Twinning with Ste. Marie-Madeleine Parish in Duchity Haiti. Kathy Fife, Haiti Twinning Facilitator recently returned from a trip to Duchity.)
St. Thomas has sent at least two Medical, Dental and/or Optical teams to Duchity every year since 2000. Each of these visits treated over 100 (dental) to 900 (medical, optical) patients. Our parish has provided funds and medications for the sick in the area. In addition, each team has raised funds from other sources.
Knowing that one-week missions would not support urgent and follow-up or repeating care of the sick, St. Thomas supported the construction of a clinic in Duchity and continues to support the doctor and provide some medications. The clinic charges patients that can afford to pay a small amount. Those funds pay for clinic staff and some medications.
The vision of the Clinic Board and other leadership groups in Duchity is for continuing medical missions, as well as growing the services of the clinic with more staff, medications, treatments, and test procedures. The addition of overnight observation beds is also a part of the vision. That vision is dependent on the availability of 24/7 electric power for the clinic. Solar power may be an option.
As we look to the future of the health of the people, our medical teams are focusing on supporting the development of the clinic, staffed by Haitian physicians, nurses and other medical support personnel. The plan is to continue Medical Missions to support the clinic and provide training to the staff.
Education support or scholarships for Duchity students to go to medical or dental school in Haiti would provide doctors who will come back to serve Duchity. Dr. Nickson Polyte from Duchity, now completing his year of social service, plans to join the clinic staff.
Come and join our Haiti Twinning Team and the medical team members at Solemn Oath Brewery on Saturday, September 28, from 4 – 7 pm for a benefit in support of the Haiti Medical Missions and clinic. Fr. Emery Menard from the Ste. Marie-Madeleine parish in Duchity will be there.