Blogs from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Central America Caribbean


This final blog entry will be a bit brief. Half of our group, including myself, did not make the connection in Montreal back to Halifax so I am already behind the eight ball in returning to normal life and do not have time for a big entry. I do, however, want to put some finishing statements on the trip. Tuesday in Haiti was a big day for me. Jodi and Dr. Coles (my trauma fellowship preceptor) left that morning to return to Halifax. They had some other commitments so had to get home a bit earlier than the rest of us (turns out that was a good idea, since they might not have made it!) That meant that I was left as the staff surgeon for the day. I am fully certified in Canada to work ... read more
While Daryl and I bang away on the leg
Charting. Always charting.
TBE Halifax

Central America Caribbean » Haiti » Port-au-Prince February 26th 2018

Today was our “day off,” which I admit I was not in favour of initially. We were only in Haiti for a week so I thought we should be working as much as we possibly could while we were there. I didn’t feel leisure time was appropriate. However our day off ended up being so much fun that I am glad we did it. Additionally, I realized that not everyone is used to working crazy resident hours. Twelve+ hour days for five days straight is a lot, and the team as a whole was ready for a break. Before we set off, Deirdre and I put on some lectures for the Haitian residents. We had a good turnout and the residents were engaged. I gave lectures on pediatric femur fracture management and distal humerus fractures and ... read more
Deirdre brought props!
Our learners
View from the "observatory"

Central America Caribbean » Haiti » Port-au-Prince February 25th 2018

Saturday started with a plan to operate all day again. After a bit of a late start (it’s a weekend in a developing country – this was not unexpected) our first case took much longer than we had expected. We were just going to “pin some broken toes,” basically, but it’s much harder to hit tiny little bones with tiny wires than you would think. To add to our woes, our drill that pushes the wires in continually stalled until it died all together, then we literally used the drill as a mallet to impact the wires in manually. Quite aggravating. I’m also pretty sure I now glow in the dark after exposure to the radiation from all the xrays we are taking! We wear protective lead, but at home I have circumferential lead and here ... read more
Checking sets
"Corn pops"

Central America Caribbean » Haiti » Port-au-Prince February 23rd 2018

Today was a big day of operating. Not much else to report, really, and likely not of huge interest to people who don’t do orthopedic surgery! Of course I have to be fairly vague on details when it comes to clinical stuff out of respect for patient privacy, anyway. The first case was a radius fracture in an older gentleman who had fallen onto a curb and broken his arm in two places. I was particularly delighted because I had seen this gentleman in clinic the day before and booked him for surgery, but he had a family friend with him and they wanted to discuss it with his immediate family and then come back. I said that was fine, but if they wanted surgery the next day they had to arrive before 8am, fasting, so ... read more
Lunch on the roof
Evening entertainment
Team Bone Repair!

Central America Caribbean » Haiti » Port-au-Prince February 22nd 2018

On Feb 21 Jeremy drove me to the Halifax airport and an ungodly hour with two carry-on bags and two giant duffle bags crammed full of group medical supplies. I was starting the trip to Bernard-Mevs Hospital in Port-au-Prince with a group of healthcare workers from Halifax. We were all heading down together for a week under the support network of Team Broken Earth, which is a medical aid organization founded by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Furey out of St. John's Newfoundland. Dr. Furey originally began his medical aid work in Haiti during crisis relief after the deadly earthquake of 2010. Since then, Team Broken Earth has expanded and evolved to provide more ongoing care, infrastructure development, and health worker education. I really love this organization and I have been following them for some time, but ... read more
Airport chaos
Xray viewing

Bonjour de nouveau, Puisqu'il pleut aujourd'hui, j'ai décidé de faire du rattrapage. C'est pour cette raison que, même si les dates des billets précédents représentent des moments où j'ai voulu vous écrire des nouvelles, j'ai rédigé tout cela aujourd'hui, le 7 mai 2016. Je prévois écrire environ 2 fois par semaine sur ce blog. En effet, je ne veux pas y passer tout mon temps, d'autant plus que mes stages s'annoncent bien chargés. Cependant, comme je vous le disais précédemment, j'aime écrire et partager mes réflexions pour susciter des discussions. De plus, je me rends compte avec mes blogs passés que ces écrits ravivent de bons souvenirs, une fois que plusieurs années ont passé. Donc voilà, cette fois ce sont des nouvelles écrites 'live'! Comme je le disais dans le billet précédemment, j'ai fait le trajet ... read more
Certains bureaux du Ministère de la santé... différent du Québec, non ?
Espace de culte du Baron Criminel
Espace de culte du Baron La Croix

Bonjour d'Haïti! Maintenant que j'ai enfin accès à Internet, je me suis dit que je débuterais en vous donnant quelques nouvelles! Mon arrivée en Haïti a été un peu improvisée au tout départ, mais les choses se sont placées relativement rapidement. J'étais supposé rencontrer l'équipe qui organisait mon accueil avant de partir, mais coup de théâtre, j'ai fait un petit tour à l'hôpital pour une pierre au rein gauche quelques jours avant mon départ, manquant du même fait cette rencontre. Après un échange téléphonique (où j'étais sous l'effet de la morphine... je vous laisse imaginer la cohérence que j'avais...!), on s'est dit qu'on s'arrangerait sur place. Par pur hasard, je voyageais avec la Directrice par intérim de l'Unité de santé internationale, avec qui je réalise un de mes stages. Celle-ci m'a donc donné un coup de ... read more
Jolie cour
La nature dans toute sa splendeur!
Terrasse de l'hôtel Cyvadier

Bonjour d'Haïti! Voici mon premier billet pour ce blog. Je vous ferai donc un petit résumé des projets sur lesquels je travaillerai. Désolé d'emblée si ce premier billet est un peu plus technique et moins romancé... mais je tenais à ce que vous sachiez ce que je fais ici, puisque ça aura certainement une influence sur mes observations et réflexions pendant mon séjour en Haïti. Ma première idée était de faire un projet avec Médecins du Monde (MDM) Canada, une merveilleuse organisation pour laquelle je m'implique depuis plus de 8 ans. MDM, dans son grand réseau international de 14 délégations dans autant de pays, prend soin des populations oubliés et marginalisées, localement et à l'international. Plusieurs me demandent quelle est la différence entre Médecins sans frontières (MSF) et MDM. En fait, MDM est né de MSF, ... read more

As we prepared for our flights to Haiti, CNN informed us that there were riots in the capital, Port-au-Prince. We knew Haiti was going to be tricky but political riots are more than we had bargained for. Haitians are annoyed and frustrated because, after years of electoral fraud and corruption, the Electoral Commission has decided to postpone the presidential elections. Some groups had decided to riot to show just how annoyed they were. Rioting has been a favourite way to make a political point here ever since it worked in the 1800s to get rid of the Spanish. As we board our plane bound for Haiti, we scan for any war correspondents. Luckily, none spotted. We arrive to a peaceful city - well, noisy, busy, even frantic but no sign of any rioters. Our hotel is ... read more
Notre Dame Cathedral
Voodoo potions
Jazz night

Central America Caribbean » Haiti » Port-au-Prince December 24th 2015

Photos Haiti septembre à décembre 2015... read more

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