Haiti Air Ambulance staff turned the tide on social and natural challenges brewing in Haiti’s midst this past September. While keeping their safety in mind, they navigated floods and the marks of ongoing demonstrations to make good on their promise to support colleagues at Port-au-Prince hospital Foyer Sainte Camille. The mission: to provide a vital skills refresher course.
Transporting patients by helicopter has been central to Haiti Air Ambulance’s operations since 2014 when the humanitarian organization launched, becoming the first and only medevac program in Haiti. Transporting knowledge to partners is the natural next step in advancing critical care in this rapidly developing nation.
“Haiti Air Ambulance blends the excitement of world-class helicopters with the specialness of urgent care and there are many tentacles that reach out from that. Providing training to our partners is endemic to our mandate of expanding healthcare security in Haiti,” said executive director Nada Marjanovich. “You could say emergency medical services is what Haiti Air Ambulance does, helicopters happen to be how we do it. Thus what we are is the experience, intelligence, professionalism, and passion for providing first-rate emergency care in Haiti. Sharing this expertise with the medical community is one of the many ways we further our mission, especially at times when we can’t fly.”
And it’s something the entire staff takes pride in advancing. “When we arrived at Sainte Camille the more than 30 attendees were very happy we made it and they were ready to learn,” said Claudel Gédéon, lead flight EMT-B and trainer. “They are all medical students, nurses, and doctors so many have had this course before, but they were eager for the refresher and asked a lot of questions. We were really pleased that they asked us to come back and also offer more advanced training!”
Haiti Air Ambulance is proud to partner with Haiti’s first responder community.
By providing the only medically-equipped air ambulances, the Haiti Air Ambulance team has developed unique insight into the realities of emergencies outside the city. Communications specialist Schamma Delva sees this daily when manning the phones at Haiti Air Ambulance. Schamma is on the front lines delivering the logistics required to get patients the care they need. “Our training service is important because there is a desperate need for trained health care providers in Haiti. These courses offer an effective short-run strategy to improve health care by making an investment at the provider level. By teaching them the skills they need to perform their job, we are changing the odds, saving lives, one session at a time.”
And that proved to be just as true at Foyer Sainte Camille in the country’s capital.
Sainte Camille’s medical director Dr. Pascal Laurent initially asked HAA to provide the training to keep his staff up-to-date. “And it was great! The session was well-defined and improved the quality of care for our patients in the emergency room. I would recommend this to others.”
Schamma knows firsthand how this will positively impact healthcare infrastructure throughout the country. “Health care providers without formal medical qualifications provide much of the primary care in rural Haiti. From HAA’s hundreds of missions, we realized patients would have better outcomes if the provider knew how to perform basic skills like CPR or stopping bleeding. I saw this personally when a family friend lost his mother in a hospital in Haiti because the medication she needed was delivered by a nurse who injected her in the vein instead of her muscles. Training these informal providers is the only way to improve the quality of care where few to no alternatives exist.”
To find out more about training services, email firstname.lastname@example.org.