The city of Dondon, with a population of roughly 50,000, is a one and a half hour drive from Cap Haitain, Haiti. On Wednesday morning, at 5:30 am, the HATCAOT medical team traveled to Dondon to set up a one day mobile health clinic. Their goal: Treat as many people in need as possible.
A convoy of 4 vehicles transported 25 HACAOT members, medical supplies, basic diagnostic equipment, water, and clothing donations. Not everyone rides inside. In the back of the truck is a Physician’s Assistant, 3 Nurses, a Clinical Lab Scientist, 2 Triage Evaluators and 2 Translators. When the group arrived there were over 500 people waiting for a chance to be treated. By late morning the crowd swelled to nearly 1000.
One of 410 people treated by the HACAOT team on November 9th, 2011.
Over 500 people were waiting when the team arrived.
Chronic dehydration is an underlying condition for most of the people in Dondon, and exacerbates all other illness. Some residents are less dehydrated like the children pictured above. And some are severely dehydrated like the woman seen in the next two images.
This woman was brought through the crowd on a stretcher. Dr. Frank, (on the right), and his daughter (on the left), examine her to determine a diagnosis. Ashley graduated from Nursing School this August, 2011. When she returns home she’ll start her first full time job as an orthopedic and neuro nurse.
Once they determined it was a case of severe dehydration, she was lifted off the stretcher (partly to free it up), and sat down with a bag of intravenous fluids to rehydrate her. She stayed in the chair most of the day, then walked out without any help.
The woman above was having her eyes examined for cataracts. The photographs that follow were portraits taken at the end of the day. Five of the people made it in, four did not. There was no more time.
The clinic has to shut down before dark. There is no electricity. Only the front 10 people on the landing at the top of the stairs were able to get in – no one else. The man sitting on the concrete railing and staring at camera was one of the very last. It’s the hardest part of the day for everyone on the team.
By the time the clinic was packed up it was dark. 410 people had been treated, given liquids to drink, vitamins, all necessary medication except for the most serious cases, a worm pill for almost everyone, and some clothes. 302 adults and 108 children were given a great gift by a team of 18 volunteers from the United States and 8 form Haiti, working for the HAitian Caribbean American Organization of Texas – HACAOT
ALL photography and writing copyright 2011 Adam Bacher. Absolutely NO USAGE without prior authorization. All rights reserved.