Students provide eight days of medical visits and treatments to Haitian children and families
Five Denver School of Nursing (DSN) students and one DSN faculty member, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), provided healthcare and education to hundreds of Haitians during their eight-day trip to Jacmel, Haiti.
The school’s Global Health Perspectives program (GHP) partnered with Love Takes Root, a non- profit organization committed to the support of children in the developing world. The students worked out of La Concorde orphanage to provide physical examinations, treat illnesses, and set up a medication administration regimen for 14 ringworm cases. They also provided medical care in the attached community clinic. Students had one day of foot-travel through the mountainous terrain, hiking medical supplies to surrounding villages and setting up a clinic serving over 40 people. In preparation of their trip, students gathered donations and brought eight suitcases filled with supplies and other goods.
DSN student Chelsea Harvey, said, “The La Concorde orphanage where we worked, has 65 children for whom we provided annual physical examinations and treated for pediatric illnesses. We set up an organized system for the nurse at La Concorde clinic to administer daily Lamisil for children at the orphanage with ringworm. The orphanage also had a clinic attached to it where people within the community can come in and be treated for medical conditions and illnesses.”
DSN students Alaina Hensel, Anna Maynard, Caley McManus, Chelsea Harvey, and Brittany Lines were accompanied by Barb Wilkerson, RN, PNP. Students served over 100 Haitians, treating medical conditions including hypertension, general infections, post-surgical infections, tuberculosis, malaria, clubfoot, pneumonia, ringworm, and scabies. Additionally, students provided woman’s health assessments and education to teenage girls regarding the prevention of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV.
“We had one child around the age of 6 with a case of pneumonia that we were able to treat with antibiotics. We also treated a few cases of scabies with anti-parasitics. We saw a few babies with general infections who we were able to treat with antibiotics. We saw one woman who had a breast mass removed who came to the clinic with a post-surgery infection and HIV”, recalls Brittany Lines.
DSN students describe the experience as life changing and humbling; realizing that many people around the world get by on very little in way of resources and supplies. Chelsea Harvey recalls an inspiring story from the trip of “a little boy at the clinic who had Typhoid who was not doing well. We did not have the proper resources at the clinic to treat him, but Barb Wilkerson gave his mother enough money to go to the Hospital Saint Michel in Jacmel. The boy was treated with IV antibiotics and returned several days later to thank us”.