By Lisbet Hanson
Our days start early with breakfast at 6:30 AM. By 7am we are on the road to the Hôpital Universitaire Justinien in Cap Haïtian, the largest hospital in the second largest city in Haiti. The city is already very busy with swarms of motorcycle taxis ferrying children to school and small business entrepreneurs setting up their roadside shops selling everything from fresh fruit and clothing, to mattresses and bedroom furniture. There is a cacophony of sounds. We are only 6 miles from the hospital but it can take up to an hour for us to make this commute. The short cut our driver takes never seem to shorten our trip!
The hospital is a 250-bed teaching hospital that has approximately 60 medical residents, including an OB/GYN program. In the breaks and at lunch we are introduced to a variety of Haitian fruit juices and foods, such as guava milk shakes and rice, flavored with black mushrooms. It is always plentiful!
Lectures are given in the morning. The hands-on scanning is in the afternoon. Everyone helps each other. Today the trainees were challenged to image the heart – both the 4 chamber and 3 vessel and trachea views. It’s exciting to see them succeed. Tomorrow will be the last morning of lectures. Then we start the practical assessment and finish with a final theoretical assessment on Friday. Though the days are long we have covered a lot of ground.