By Jennifer Quigley, Frist Global Health Leader
These two days were spent training 8 medical doctors, nurses, and community health workers at the Marinates of St. Croiux Clinic in Cap Haitian and 34 medical doctors, nurses, and community health workers at Populorum Progressio Clinic in Plaisance, Haiti.
Plaisance was the furthest away from Robillard that we traveled, taking almost two hours to drive our little Geo-Tracker down dirt, pot-holed roads. Upon mapping it out, I realized it was only 31 miles from our place of stay. That speaks to the road conditions!
Both of these clinics were added after I arrived in Haiti. The directors had found out from my priest that I was there teaching Natural Family Planning and asked to be added to the list, so that their providers could have training to offer this method. Since Catholic teaching prohibits the use of artificial contraception and that is all that is currently endorsed by the MSPP (the Ministry of Health), these clinics previously had very limited to no options for helping their patients plan families to limit the number of children, so that each could be cared for properly and provided with an education.
They were excited to be educated in a modern, effective, and easy to use natural method of family planning. It was very rewarding to teach these health care workers, knowing that each wanted to be there so that he or she can impact patients' and families lives in a positive way.
Photo: We separated this large group at Populorum Progressio into small groups of 6-8, where each group took turns telling us key points of the Standard Days Method during a teach back session.
One struggle I found with many of the clinics, especially the Catholic clinics is that money is very limited and many to most of the resources are donated. The directors raised concerns about having the funds to buy the Cyclebeads to provide to patients, and if I could send them any.
Photo: At the Marinates of St. Croiux teaching about the Standard Days Method and Cyclebeads to 8 MDs, nurses and community health workers.
I assured them that while I did not have enough money to send that many beads, I would make it a goal of mine to find donors or sources to make CycleBeads available, so they can use the new skills and knowledge obtained to offer the Standard Days Method of family planning to the patients. After I got back that night, I called and made an appointment for a meeting with the Archbishop of Cap-Haitian, Rev. Max Leroy Mésidor, to acquire about resources available in the Catholic Church. More on this meeting later...
God is really taking ahold of this trip and blessing every step of the way. I am seeing a real difference in the work I am doing here. I am eager to continue sharing my mission, fellowship, and study with more of these wonderful people here in this beautiful country of Haiti. Bondye Bon Tout Tan!