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Help For Haiti
On November 14, 2008 in the Fellowship Hall of Coral Gables Congregational Church, FAVACA participated in a joint fundraiser for Haiti. The Lambi Fund of Haiti, Project Medishare, and the Florida Association of Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and Americas (FAVACA) all participated in the fundraising event for Haiti. All proceeds were donated equally among the three organizations to support efforts to provide urgently needed assistance to storm victims and support efforts in disaster preparedness. The funds donated to FAVACA went to support ten volunteers who counseled storm victims in Gonaives suffering from trauma, training hospital staff in fire safety and preparedness Justinian Hospital in Cap Haitian, and advanced-life support training for emergency room personnel at Port-au-Prince's General Hospital.
Trauma Counseling for Haiti Storm Victims
Hosean International Ministries in Pignon, Haiti has been actively involved in the relief effort from hurricanes Gustave, Fay, Hannah, and Ike by providing much needed relief supplies to those areas that have been most affected by the four hurricanes that have devastated the country in 2008. Although Hosean International Ministries has been able to provide supplies there was a noticeable need in some of the population who were exhibiting signs of post traumatic stress disorder (PSD) due to the tragic losses each person has faced due to the storms. Many of those exhibiting signs of PSD were children who were unable to attend school due to the trauma they have suffered. In order to help with the psychosocial stress, Hosean International Ministries' country director Caleb Lucien requested FAVACA's help in sourcing several counselors to travel to affected regions of the country to provide trauma counseling to storm victims. Four Haitian-American counselors traveled to Haiti December 26-31, 2008 to work with families and children in Gonaives to relieve the fears and stress caused from the storms. Israel Francois, from Margate, Florida, Tania Delinois, from Coconut Creek, Florida, Nikcy Clervil from Jacksonville, Florida and Lory Servil, from Deerfield Beach, Florida provided counseling for 300 Haitians in Gonaives, Haiti. The team of counselors was able to diagnose several individuals and families who need follow up trauma counseling within the coming months. With the help and support of the four volunteers, Lucien will be working on a proposal from international donors that would seek to provide long term training for community leaders and school teachers to provide counseling to their various constituencies.
EVACUATION PLAN AND FIRE SAFETY FOCUS FOR CAP HAITIEN HOSPITAL
Servicing a large majority of the healthcare needs in the Northern part of Haiti, the Justinian Hospital in Cap Haitien, Haiti is a vital resource for providing much needed medical services for a large sector of the population. Unfortunately, fires in the recent past have caused an entire wing of the hospital to be shut down which has forced the hospital to cut some services and has forced the hospital staff to merge hospital units together which has caused overcrowding and could lead to more serious problems such as an outbreak of a major disease. In order to help provide the hospital staff with the basic knowledge of fire safety, Konbit Sante, a nonprofit organization in Maine with the mission to save lives and improve health care in northern Haiti works in the Justinian hospital and requested assistance from FAVACA to provide training on fire safety such as prevention methods and hazardous materials recognition, creating an emergency evacuation plan which incorporated the local municipal fire department in the hospitals fire prevention plan, and basic first responder training for ambulance drivers. FAVACA Volunteers Nathan Lasseur from Palm Beach, Florida; Gayl Nye from Vero Beach, Florida; Robert Belizaire from Lake Worth, Florida; and Gina Lasseur form Palm Beach, Florida traveled to Cap Haitien, Haiti June 14-19, 2009. The four volunteers were able to have several Florida fire departments donate four boxes of fire alarms to place throughout the hospital. The training served as a first step in helping the hospital staff to identify many potential fire hazards as well as providing a working relationship between the hospital and local fire department.
TWO HAITIAN HOSPITALS RECEIVES ADVANCE LIFE-SUPPORT TRAINING
FAVACA in collaboration with the Haitian Resource and Development Foundation (HRDF), a nonprofit organization helping with the development of Haiti, and the International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC), shipped a variety of emergency room medical equipment to the Hospital de L'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti, commonly known as the General Hospital located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Following up on an April 2009 FAVACA volunteer project to assess the condition of the medical equipment and ensure all the equipment is working before providing training to hospital staff on how to provide maintenance on the equipment and training to the staff on how to use the equipment for emergency situations, FAVACA and HRDF secured two Haitian-American medical personnel to travel to Haiti to provide training to hospital staff from the General Hospital and the Community Hospital (located in Petion Ville, Haiti) on the recently donated medical equipment. Dr. Jocelyn David from Seminole, Florida is a staff physician at the Veterans Medical Center in Bay Pines and Annsie Blot, a registered nurse from Davie, Florida traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti June 19-26, 2009. The FAVACA volunteers trained approximately 40 hospital staff in advance life-support techniques such as using an EKG machine, advanced respiratory and ventilation techniques in emergency situations, and urgent care in the emergency room just to name a few. On the final day of training all participants were given an exam to ensure that everyone was learned the new techniques in urgent care in an emergency room.