A Breath of Fresh Air: raising awareness to treat asthma in Haiti

(Photo Courtesy of Baptist Haiti Mission)

(Photo courtesy of Baptist Haiti Mission)

Haiti (MNN) — Tuesday, May 27, was a day full of excitement on the property of Baptist Haiti Mission. Nearly 500 people arrived at the Fermathe Baptist Church for an asthma clinic hosted by the Fermathe Hospital. The hospital administrator, Michelle Talleyrand who initially decided to run this clinic, shared exciting information about this event and its origins.

The thought of reaching out to those living with asthma in Haiti came about with a visit from Talleyrand’s friend from the states, Sandra Devalon, who is a respiratory therapist. Sandra saw the need for both awareness and treatment, and Michelle was willing to organize an event to address both those needs. It was a tag-team effort as Sandra sent helpful equipment, and Talleyrand worked hard to advertise and prepare for the event.

Advertising had to be strategic. The goal was to see to the needs of as many people as possible but also to assure that all who attended would be served. To spread the word, BHM sent letters to churches and schools, employees of the hospital informed friends and family, and a large banner was hung outside BHM.

(Photo courtesy of Baptist Haiti Mission)

(Photo courtesy of Baptist Haiti Mission)

All who arrived were evaluated by a doctor. If treatment was needed, the patient was moved to a different station to receive it, then given a training session that explained what may be triggering their asthmatic attacks and what steps they would need to take to prevent further attacks.

“It’s an awareness for the people in the area that came in,” said Talleyrand. According to her, there are many people in Haiti who have asthma, yet they are unaware of how serious it is and of the treatment that is necessary. “Probably 65% of the people who attended the clinic left aware of the situation and were told to return back to the hospital if they experience any problems,” Talleyrand continued.

Talleyrand’s goal now is to create an asthma crisis center at the Fermathe Hospital, where they can provide services to these people right away. She hopes to have Ms. Devalon return to contribute in the training of nurses there, so that they can begin to tackle the case of asthma in Haiti.

Baptist Haiti Mission feels that they can be a blessing to the people of Haiti through this new ministry and are glad for the use of the Fermathe hospital. Though many arrive in hopes of their physical needs being met, please pray that their spiritual needs are met through intentional discipleship and the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

(Article courtesy of Baptist Haiti Mission: http://www.bhm.org/2014/05/30/a-breath-of-fresh-air-raising-awareness-to-treat-asthma-in-haiti/