Caitlin Weaver’s Medical Mission Trip to Haiti: A Personal Reflection

October 25, 2017

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Christ the King School in Haiti has classes in grades pre-K through 5th grade (Photo Credit: Caitlin Weaver/ Achona Online)

On Oct. 16, 2017, myself and 20 others, including doctors, nurses and volunteers went on a Medical and Dental Mission Trip to Sainte Suzanne Haiti. This was the 11th year of the trip with the goal of offering a free clinic and pharmacy to the people of Sainte Suzanne and other surrounding towns. Through my parish, Christ the King, and our organization, Renew Haiti, people donated various medications and vitamins along with large donations from company donors. Because of this we were able to take 25 suitcases of medication and vitamins to Haiti.

The houses in Sainte Suzanne are primarily made out of mud and have no running water or plumbing. (Photo Credit: Caitlin Weaver/ Achona Online)

The days leading up to our in Haiti tickets were handed out in order to help regulate the times in which people came to the clinic. When they arrive, their vitals were taken and then they were sent to one of the eight volunteer doctors and nurses for a consultation with the help of interpreters. If they were prescribed anything they were sent to the pharmacy where they pick up their medications for free. One of the most common illnesses in Haiti is typhoid which we saw a lot of in people of all ages because of the poor drinking water.

 

Our mission group worked closely with the committee Malat which means Committee of Sickness in Sainte Suzanne (Photo Credit: Caitlin Weaver/ Achona Online)

Over the course of the week I worked in the pharmacy along with another volunteer and two pharmacists who lived in Haiti. We filled the prescriptions of 775 people who visited the clinic over the course of three days.

Volunteers in the pharmacy counted and divided pills into individual prescription (Photo Credit: Caitlin Weaver/ Achona Online)

My favorite experience from working in the pharmacy was being able to give some of the patients reading glasses. In Sainte Suzanne there is no eye doctor and very little access to reading glasses or money to buy them. Therefore we brought some to the clinic and were able to give them out to those with very poor eyesight. With their new glasses they were able to read and see up close.

We handed out 20 pairs of glasses to those who had trouble reading. (Photo Credit: Caitlin Weaver/ Achona Online)

On the last day myself and three other volunteers were able to visit a Catholic school which was funded and named after Christ the King. We were able to visit all the classroom and meet all the students as they learned and sang songs.

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