Haiti Medical Project Report

Published on Feb 14th, 2018 by wpd-office | 0

Submitted by Dale Minnich, Mission and Service Coordinator for Western Plains


Following the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010 the Brethren mounted a major disaster response, building nearly 200 homes.  Paul Ullom-Minnich participated in a medical team mission for a week, and became an advocate for a Brethren initiative to provide an ongoing response to meeting human need in Haiti.  By the end of 2011 such an initiative was underway and has received generous support from Western Plains District, especially by the McPherson congregation.


An Evaluation and Learning Trip.  From January 14 – 22 a five person survey team held a day and a half of key meetings with the National Church of Eglise des Freres d’Haiti (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti) and with Haiti Medical Project staff and participated  in four and a half days of challenging travel to see projects and visit with local volunteers.  Team members included Jay Wittmeyer, Executive for Global Mission and Service; Dale Minnich, Volunteer Staff; Jean Bily Telfort, Director of Community Development; Vildor Archange, Director of Community Health and Pure Water Projects; and Dave Minnich, Team Photographer.


Mobile Clinics Provide Direct Medical Care.  There were no clinics scheduled during our visit, but we consulted with Jean Altenor and Dr. Verosnel Solon of the Clinic Coordinating Committee.  As we enter 2018 the Coordinating Committee has resourced 235 clinics, providing approximately 40,000 patient visits in 23 communities!  Many of these visits have been with persons who have no other affordable access to direct care.  Forty more clinics are planned for this year.


Promising Aquaculture.  An initial learning and demonstration project of aquaculture featuring both fish farming and related vegetable production has been established in recent weeks.  The initial project is located next to our guest house in Croix des Bouquets.  Through Haiti Medical Project we will facilitate learning from these early experiences as we prepare to ramp up use of this promising source of Haitian farm family income beginning in about a year.


Pure Water Projects Expanding.  Three members of our community development staff and General Secretary Romy Telfort have received water technology training.  As we facilitated eight projects since 2015, our staff has become skilled in use of the related techniques.  In 2018 we are increasing the pace of pure water development and expect to facilitate at least 10 community projects this year.  We are currently launching new projects in Croix des Bouquets, Bohoc and Grand Bwa. To help with the additional work load of our staff we are seeking to fill a fulltime position as Field Staff Assistant, working largely in water project construction.  Helping provide pure water addresses the root causes of water borne disease, a leading cause of elevated infant mortality.


The Raymonsaint Visit.  The first challenge was how to get there. Starting about 12 miles short of the community the road began to climb steeply and eventually virtually disappeared.  Our four wheel drive vehicle cleared fields of large rocks and eventually made it to the village, about 3,300 feet above sea level.  Haiti Medical Project had been in the remote community at least monthly over the past year, featuring the activities of a maternal care nurse and others working on a water project.  A number of volunteers from the community have received special training in community health.  Our nurse meets with mothers and young children regularly to weigh the babies, discuss improved nutrition and sanitation and focus on ways to successfully raise young children in this environment.  Evidences of malnutrition are found, and a program of nutritional supplements is being expanded.


The community now has a small dispensary run by a local trained volunteer where community members can purchase the type of medicines that deal with such ailments as diarrhea, cough and colds, and other common complaints.  Can you imagine members of this remote community going to the drug store in Gonaives when a child is ill?  This illustrates for us the value of accessibility in providing services needed.  A pure water project featuring capturing rooftop water and installing a purification system also added to Raymonsaint’s efforts to provide a healthy environment.


Expanding Community Health Work.  The maternal care work exemplified by the report of Raymonsaint was carried out in 11 communities this past year, including mothers

clubs, a short course for the untrained community members who deliver the babies, and a rural dispensary.  The educational work with mothers reached over 600 mothers last year and related to many more children.  Next year we are adding five more communities and needing to add two part-time nurses—one in the southern peninsula and one at the northern coast, and hope to reach nearly 900 mothers monthly.


Our whirlwind tour also touched briefly:

  • Louis du Nord, where the Brethren have a significant presence including a school for 560 students and two Brethren congregations. We have worked with them with a school nurse and a large water project and are expanding into community health ministries in 2018.
  • Perise, where we encountered our maternal care nurse and a trained local volunteer at work with a group of assembled mothers and babies.
  • Gonaives, where we stopped briefly to view their recent work to purify their water through a reverse osmosis system, with help from our team.
  • Cap Haitien, where we looked over an existing well that can be improved and made more suitable as a supply for drinking water.
  • Ouanaminthe, a border town with Dominican Republic, where we visited with the local pastor and congregational leaders and tested the water.
  • Bohoc, where we met Pastor Georges Cadet and a group of his leaders as we discussed an upcoming congregational project to provide a cement floor for their church building and a plan for a Haiti Medical Project water system there later this year.
  • A visit to a 1-2 acre plot of rented irrigated land that will be a support for a new program in 10 communities in agriculture, soil conservation and reforestation.


Beginning in 2011 we formed a Haitian mobile clinic team of three doctors, four nurses, a coordinator and a driver.  In 2015 we added a community development team of 8 persons to work at community health, pure water and agriculture.  This team consists of four field leaders, two maternal care nurses and two school nurses and is being expanded for 2018.  We have an excellent and dedicated staff.


The little shoe string operation begun in late 2011 through an international dinner at the McPherson congregation now has an annual budget of about $325,000 including good support from a very helpful endowment fund of about $450,000.  God is good!

Haiti rain barrels


System at Raymonsaint to harvest rain water from the church roof into a cistern and using sand biofilter purification..






Meeting of the survey team with 8 members of the National Committee
(photographer Dave Minnich not shown)

Haiti Medical Project 2018


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