Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Students Bring Health Care to Hispaniola

June 9th, 2010

By: Arthur Nead

Tulane medical and public health students are traveling to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola this summer to provide health care for a rural village in Haiti and for Haitian refugees in Haiti‘€™s neighboring country, the Dominican Republic.

Students have made two previous trips in February 2009 and March 2010 to the impoverished Haitian community of Jacsonville, working in a field clinic to provide basic care and first aid. This summer‘€™s visit to Haiti will take place June 12‘€“19. The volunteer medical team includes eight students of the School of Medicine, a Tulane psychiatry intern, a School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine graduate and a distance-learning student from the School of Public Health, as well as other volunteers.‘€¨

‘€œWe will continue our field clinics with a goal of seeing new patients, providing de-worming medicine to all of the children in the area, and following-up on patients with critical medical conditions,‘€ says Alison Smith, a fourth-year MD/PhD student who also participated in previous trips. ‘€œWe also have found some children very sick with sickle cell anemia and older people with cancer and high blood pressure. We want to work to train a community healthcare worker who can check on the most vulnerable people in the community and report back to us about their medical needs.‘€

‘€¨Tulane volunteers including students and faculty also will travel in June and July to the city of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.

‘€œWe work with the organization Project Esperanza, a grassroots organization that works with Haitian leaders in the Dominican Republic to create projects that will bring about sustainable change and advancement for Haitian refugees,‘€ says Smith. ‘€¨

A fundraiser for both the Haitian and Dominican Republic projects will be held today (June 9) from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. at Fresco Café, 7625 Maple St. Donations may be made online by designating Tulane. For more information on the trips, contact Alison Smith at 412-607-3047.

Photo by Tulane undergraduate Lacey Salberg, Department of Anthropology.

See the original article in Tulane’s New Wave.