I’m always inspired by the commitment of the student doctors that show up on these trips. They are investing in their future in a very productive way. They communicate with each other very well and I’ve learned a lot from them. In one word this trip was amazing!
Birthing Center is Fully Functional
Special thanks to: Alex, Peter, Stephen, Henri, Edwin, Joseph, Saddie, Kesline, Denise, Makuline
The contribution I have committed myself to making for the birthing center is to help manage inventory and supplies. In order to do that remotely I thought it would be nice if the center had a computer that they could run a spreadsheet on with all the supplies and how they are being used. So I took a laptop down with me to find that there is no internet connection on the compound. I also was reminded that electricity is not reliable and to have good communication we need a reliable connection. Alex and I signed up for the internet. He paid $165 for 3 months of service and I have offered to pay the monthly cost of $55. Then we had to get a solar panel, two batteries, a rechargeable inverter and have someone install those items. The cost minus installation was about $780. The internet should have been installed the Wednesday after I left, but as of my last inquiry it had not been installed yet.
Once I know the installation has been completed and the midwives have access to the computer I will begin to work closely with them to see to it that they are fully stocked.
Peter and I were prepared to knock door to door to find a supplier in Santiago. Fortunately for us we didn’t have to, Edwin suddenly remembered his neighbor that runs a clinic and asked her if she would help us and she agreed. Saddie came to Codevi, Peter put in an order that we received from the midwives. The total came to just over $1,100. Saddie delivered the items to us at the hotel and we were able to get them to the center. As a side note, Saddie also came to the hotel and gave us our Covid tests to enter the US. I don’t have any photos of Saddie but here is Edwin.
Currently the cost of keeping the birthing center open for around 10 to 15 births per month is costing about $1,666 per month more than the contributions from the board. I am planning to do a drive in the office to get enough people to sign up as monthly givers in hopes to close this financial gap. Any births above this baseline of approximately $3,666 would cost us about $75.
We are looking into applying with DHL for Non-Profit shipping rates. We have a few leads on charities that help centers like ours, such as MedShare.
I would like to encourage each board member to come down and see the birthing center. It is amazing to see all the women walking down the hill at all times of the day for a service that we know will make a difference in their lives.
There is also a small business that Peter supports and maybe this is one way for us to help. The company is Menex and Mendy’s Souvenirs. These items could make great thank you gifts.
I was honored to adjust many of the women that came to the center for their visits. One lady I will never forget. She looked ready, she came over and I worked on her. About 4 hours later, after having lunch and picking up the supplies at the hotel, we dropped them off and the sound of a newborn is on the other side of the door. Such a special moment for me.
We also had the opportunity to meet 4 of the 5 infants and their mothers that were born at the center since it opened in June.
The birthing center is up and running. We have limited supplies. We need better communication. We need better power. We need to raise more money. We would like to see you in Haiti.