I will be a volunteer with Health Volunteers Oversees, teaching vaginal surgery to residents and ob/gyn physicians @ Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti. Vaginal surgery skills are lacking in residency programs. This surgery is ideal for patients with prolapse as it has a low infection rate and patients recover more rapidly than with an abdominal surgery.
Haitian women often need to return to their families within days after surgery and are expected to resume their household duties soon thereafter. Vaginal surgery means less pain and greater mobility than abdominal surgery.
This hospital is a major teaching center and the program will be ongoing, building on the skills that were learned in the previous trip. There are 3, 2 week teaching trips planned for late 2018 and early 2019. The teaching will involve both current residents and attendings, so that future teaching can be done by Haitian attendings
During my 2.5 weeks in Haiti, I worked with Health Volunteers Oversees at Albert Schweitzer Hospital as well as providing menstrual health education to health care providers in hospitals and birthing centers. Most of my time at the hospital was spent interacting with ob/gyn physicians in the operating room, improving their vaginal surgery skills as well as providing updated info on patient treatment. Health illiteracy is a major problem in Haiti. Providing information about reproductive health as well as teaching materials that have been translated into the native language was well received by both physicians and nurses, so that they have the ability to teach larger groups of patients.
I have started a non-profit seamstress center in northern Haiti where we employ Haitians to construct reusable menstrual pads and diapers to be sold in the local community. I spent a day with these women collecting their completed products as well as providing ongoing health education that they are able to spread to their communities.