Building Capacity and Improving Quality of Life
The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Unit at Hospital Bernard Mevs (HBM) offers comprehensive emergency, surgical and rehabilitative care to SCI patients. As a trauma and critical care hospital, HBM is uniquely positioned to care for new spinal cord injuries by stabilizing the spine, and treating the gunshot wounds, falls and vehicular accidents which cause many of the spinal cord injuries in Haiti.
With assistance from Project Medishare and private donors, the SCI unit at HBM has trained physicians, rehab technicians, wound care technicians and nurses to care for spinal cord injuries. Since August 2010, the unit has treated more than 100 patients, from teenagers to senior citizens.
After stabilization, patients are taught how to care for themselves when they are no longer able to move their upper and/or lower limbs. The engagement of the family is a crucial part of the program, which ensures that a future transfer home will be a success. In partnership with Project Stitch, the SCI unit and Project Medishare offer sewing classes for patients to enable them to fully support themselves and their families.
Before the earthquake in Haiti, the capacity for treating SCI was low and life expectancy was less than a year. Today, most of the patients discharged from the unit are alive and thriving thanks to the training and medical advances made by partners across the country. The SCI unit is now completely Haitian led with visitors from Project Medishare's volunteer program who provide teaching sessions.
The director of the SCI unit and HBM's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joanna Cherry, helped design and manage the unit. “ I am very privileged to have been part of the accomplishments of the SCI unit at Hospital Bernard Mevs. We are proud to help an underserved part of Haiti’s population by using only local staff to rehabilitate patients to the point of independence, and to provide counseling and training for their families to care for them at home”.
With your help, HBM and Project Medishare can continue providing local medical professionals with the training and support they need to treat spinal cord injuries in Haiti. Click 'Donate Now' above to make a donation today.