Exploring A Haitian Hospital (Day 5 of 11):

Today we explored Hopital Bernard Mevs, a local hospital in Port-Au-Prince, run in partnership with Project Medishare. Bernard Mevs, is one of the top hospitals in the country currently, and while they might not be the prettiest, they do incredibly good work with every patient that walks through their doors. Based in downtown Port-Au-Prince, Bernard Mevs is a 54 bed hospital, with numerous buildings to house it’s various departments, from the OR, to NICU unit. We were able to get a tour of their facilities, and some of the stories we heard were jaw-dropping. Unlike in the US where a nurse cares for a patients eating, bathing, and general care, in Haiti, these general responsibilities fall on the family of the patient. With a very limited number of beds, families are known to bring in cardboard boxes to rest on next to their loved one to stay and care for them. The sense of community within the Hospital was incredible, and the staff was incredibly insightful into the needs of the community was stunning. Bernard Mevs is actually one of few hospitals operated by an NGO in Haiti which has a full Haitian staff. In addition, numerous volunteers come from the states, all staying for at least a week, and often allowing for specialized clinics to occur during their stay. Something else I also found very interesting was also the lack of an Emergency Medical Transport system, such as ambulances, and while there were few, often run by NGO’s, the majority of patients came in right off the street. At the same time, while they may have lacked funding, state of the art equipment, and even staff at times… the work of Bernard Mevs is changing the lives of each and every person that walks through their doors, and for that, I hope they’ll continue to serve as an example for other hospitals in Haiti to strive for.

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