Day 4: Commemorating the earthquake

Yesterday (Thursday 12 January) was the 2-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake that devastated the island in 2010 and some commemorative events took place at St Damien Hospital, in which our team took part.

Dr Andrea Paganelli is another new member of the team who shared his experience with us today:

“The course in Haiti is nearly at the end and I think that the balance has been positive both for the trainees and the trainers. The trainees here are motivated and have a well-trained background: their interest in ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology is clearly evident, and their possibility of understanding, improving and interacting is promising and suggests that the training has been effective.

Dr Paganelli, Dr Ferrazzi and Dr Hanson

Personally, I think that the next step in the hands-on training could be an increased focus on the chief complaint rather than signs and symptoms, and this could be achieved more easily with exams on in-patients than with out-patients. This shift should also be pursued in the theoretical lessons by deepening the clinical aspects of the specialty beyond the strict sonographic signs and techniques.”

Team leader Dr Lisbet Hanson adds that Dr Paganelli has also been active with not just the ultrasound training at St Damien, but with follow-up treatment as well.

“Today Dr Paganelli was called out of the Celebration Ceremonies to help in the surgical delivery of a patient he had done an ultrasound on earlier. A young woman with sickle cell crises, severe anemia (hemoglobin 4) severe dyspnea (shortness of breath) and what we think is thrombophlebitis with possible pulmonary embolus.”

Dr Hanson, who was in Haiti at the time of the earthquake, also shares her thoughts and hopes for the future of Haiti.

“It was an emotional day all around. Hard to believe that 2 years ago we were in Cange training the doctors and nurse midwives there when the earth quake changed all of our lives so drastically. I am happy to be here in Haiti again on this anniversary date working with a great group to volunteers and training a very promising group of physicians and nurse midwives. It gives one hope for the future.”


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