Wednesday night, Oct. 21: “The Asheville Mission MANNA medical team should be camped 2,500 feet above the Caribbean by now, nestled under the same stars as you, but a world away,” reports @missionMANNA staff member Todd Kaderabek from Asheville. Todd has stayed home in this trip.
“Who knows about connectivity,” he adds.
Prior to leaving for the two-day mountain trek, the team had prepped, doing tasks like filling bags of AK-1000 (akamil) for the mountains. Team doctor Derek Dephouse explained shortly before leaving, “The kids are usually sicker and have greater need, if that is possible. The team is fired up and ready to go.”
His last word was: “Off to the mountains. Last post until tomorrow evening. Two mountain clinics ahead.”
In the two days prior, the first days of clinics, 394 children were treated, two diagnosed with AIDS and one with severe pneumonia, according to Tom Plaut, the coordinator and detail guy for the trip. The team took one child to the regional hospital in St. Marc, to begin an AIDS treatment regimen.
In the accompanying “photo” photo, Dr. Carchman of Mission Hospital evaluates a mother & children in Mission MANNA’s clinic in Sous Bourgne.
“Today we saw kids in the Sous Borgne (‘soo bo’”) clinic,” Dr. Derek Dephouse reported late Tuesday night. “Our community health agents were concerned that this child in our feeding program was infected with HIV. Unfortunately they were right.”
“In Haiti, it is all about knowing people and making connections,” Dephouse said. “We have met a local Haitian doc who is helping us get Briana and Renel treated. And doing your level best, here or there, to change lives. Some days, to save lives.”
The following impressions come from team member Christin Harvey: “Although I’ve heard many stories and seen plenty of pictures, none of that could have prepared me to imagine the things that I have seen in Haiti. It’s impossible for anyone who has been lucky enough. Your imagination can’t even compare to the Haitians reality, guaranteed. The treeless mountains and the ocean are beautiful. But take a drive through Port au Prince and into Montrouis. The level of poverty is stunning and the people are desperate. They are hungry, thirsty and often sick. But they are gorgeous and hopeful. Tomorrow we will go into the mountains and I’m sure there will be many more beautiful people with gorgeous smiles, even amongst the poverty and illness.”
The team, made up of Asheville doctors, nurses and volunteers from Mission MANNA flew to Haiti last Saturday for a weeklong trip, as they do twice yearly, to provide ongoing medical assistance to more than 1,000 kids in need. The team will remain in Haiti this week until Saturday, when they return to Asheville.