Kyran Dowling, MD
Kyran Dowling, MD
Interventional Radiology · Spartanburg, SC

Project Dominicana

November 4th
La Romana, Dominican Republic

Project Description

This mission is an ongoing project to help serve the general medical needs of the Haitian and imprisoned population in the Dominican Republic . A very large percentage of prisoners are Haitian. Both of these groups are tremendously underserved in many areas but particularly in healthcare . Recent political events have resulted in the Haitian population receiving even less support from the government. This is one of the principal reasons for our group arranging for a second trip this year . Our last mission was in February 2023 and we very much appreciated the support of the Dox Foundation ! We understand that your policy is to fund only one grant per year except in rare circumstances . We hope that the recent changes in country would allow for your consideration. The scheduled dates for this mission is November 4 - 11 , 2023.

Population Served

The Haitian population raising sugar cane in the bateys of the Dominican Republic are grossly underserved by both medical and educational programs . Our general medical clinics support the local health care system which rely on health care coordinators that have minimal training but are very devoted to their community. We generally treat common conditions such as high blood pressure , diabetes and infectious disease. We work with the health care coordinator to have continuing care and with local hospitals if more sophisticated care is necessary.

The imprisoned population is also very underserved and we are one of the only medical groups that goes into the prisons to provide medical clinics . Access requires local government or military permission . We work through a local citizen , ' Clara ' , who has devoted her life to serving the medical and spiritual needs of the prisoners. Conditions commonly treated include diabetes , high blood pressure and much local wound care. Continuity of care is provided largely by our local connection , Clara.

Expected Impact

Usually our group sees about 600 - 800 patients during a trip. Long term impact is made by enhancing the care provided and by educating the local medical providers. In addition we usually identify patients that have treatable conditions that require more sophisticated services . We work very hard in trying to get those patients to the care they require.

Trip Photos & Recap

The two principle groups our organization , now called Cross Cultural Medicine in Hispaniola , serves are the Haitians working in the bateys and the prisoners in both the jails and prisons of the La Romana area of the Dominican Republic . Both are grossly underserved in regards to basic health care. The plight of the Haitians residing in the Dominican Republic has dramatically worsened in the last few years. The recent chaos in Haiti itself has resulted in mass migration into the Dominican Republic which has been met with opposition by the Dominican government . In addition, the United States has put an embargo on sugar imports from the Dominican Republic . This was done to punish the sugar companies for human rights violations. but has resulted in less work for those in the bateys.

Our group tries to supplement the meager access to health care that the two groups have access to. We saw about 600 patients in general medical clinics. The variety of conditions seen and treated was varied including diabetes, hypertension , infectious disease, wound care and a presumed case of filariasis. Patients requiring more care than we could provide , when possible , were referred to local facilities . One patient seen was taken back to a local hospital on our transport bus.

Our organization is very appreciative for the continuing support by the Dox Foundation ! It has allowed us to use other resources to support patient care more directly. We look forward to our continuing relationship.