Donations Needed to Improve Newborn Care at Justinian University Hospital

  • Posted on: 30 December 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Konbit Sante staff and volunteers work very closely with the Haitian Ministry of Health and other partners to build local capacity including door-to-door community outreach programs, strengthening community health centers, and improving care at the regional referral hospital.  Konbit Sante staff approach their work viewing Haitians as full and capable partners.  To that end, Konbit Sante focuses on the areas that Haitian partners have identified as priorities.  A high priority for Haitian staff is improving child survival – which is complicated by high rates of malnutrition and diarrheal disease. Konbit Sante's child health initiatives have focused on improving inpatient care at the Justinian University Hospital and strengthening the pediatric residency program which will develop the next generation of caregivers, and reaching into the community to follow patients after discharge from Justinian's inpatient feeding program. 

Konbit Sante has completed several infrastructure improvements to the building that houses the pediatric service. They have built and equipped a teaching room, an outpatient clinic area, an emergency facility, and installed a pediatric oxygen system. Staff provide on a regular basis, materials and supplies that help the service function effectively. This includes financing the oxygen supply and in-patient liquid nutrition, providing an emergency fund that can be used to purchase medicines, and supplying materials and furnishings for a neonatal section within pediatrics. Beyond these material items, there are quality improvement protocols that the team is working on implementing. Konbit Sante's Haitian staff work with colleagues from the U.S. volunteer team to prioritize needs and work on most critical protocols first. As an example, one recent intervention focuses on improving dispensing and administration of medications. A baseline study was done to evaluate the consistency with which medication orders were given to patients, as prescribed. The team then designed a medication chart that is being used to increase this figure, an improvement that will have a positive impact on patient outcomes throughout the unit.  Konbit Sante recognizes the need to catch illness and malnutrition before it reaches a critical stage. To reach into the community, two Konbit Sante-supported community health workers follow up with patients released from the inpatient feeding program, and conduct pediatric clinics one day each week in the Fort St. Michel Health Center.  During these clinics they teach the staff as they see patients, to increase the Center's capacity to handle a wider range of childhood illnesses.

Konbit Sante’s work is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the SG Foundation, and individual donors.  For more information, take a look at Konbit Sante’s annual reports. There are also volunteer opportunities both in the United States and in Haiti to raise funds, provide training, and make available speciality care. 

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