Volunteer - ServeHaiti
ServeHaiti is our most ambitious and extensive healthcare project. IMR has been committed to relief efforts in Haiti since the devastating earthquake in 2010. Within the first 3 months following the calamity, our teams treated over 30,000 patients at a field hospital constructed under the guidance of IMANA. With long term healthcare in mind, IMR started the HOPE (Haiti Out Patient Establishment) Clinic in 2012 in the village of Miragoane to serve the local destitute population.
Our volunteer medical teams visit Haiti twice a year and provide healthcare to many people on each trip. The total number of patients treated through December 2019 is 19,296. Apart from these trips IMANA supports the clinic through local physicians on a weekly basis.
In 2013, IMR also sent a SaveVision team which established an eye clinic and performed several cataract surgeries. In 2014 IMR launched a clean drinking water project allowing locals access to clean water.
Volunteer OpportunitiesServeHaiti Medical Missions
ServeHaiti Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the clinic located?
IMR works with a local foundation by the name of READ, which has a clinic that was set up with IMANA financial grant, in the rural area of Miragoane about 2.5-hour drive from the capital Port au Prince.
How do we get there?
IMR makes arrangements to receive team members at Port au Prince airport and transport them to Miragoane in air conditioned vans. The return journey is also properly arranged.
What are the boarding and lodging arrangements?
All team members are lodged in simple dorm type accommodations on the premises. These are separate for male and female members of the team.
Meals are cooked fresh, a healthy, halal diet is arranged. Plenty of bottled water is available.
How are medications dispensed? Is there a pharmacy on-site or do we only write prescriptions?
Based on experience from previous missions we have a suggested formulary. Some medicines are procured locally by READ Foundation while the bulk of them is procured in the USA and transported with the volunteers. We dispatch boxes of medicines and supplies to the team members about two weeks before the trip, which they then carry to Haiti. IMANA reimburses any extra baggage fee.
Depending upon who all volunteer, at times there is a pharmacist in the team. Otherwise, the team leader nominates a team member to manage it.
Are there certain illnesses or diseases we should be aware of that are unique to this population? Are there certain drugs that are preferred?
IMR SaveHaiti Project lead and Chair of Relief Committee brief the team on clinical aspects in detail before departure. An informative booklet is also shared with the team, which has been developed with inputs from previous teams.
What about patients requiring follow-up care. How is this taken care of since we are only there for a week?
Our teams try to limit themselves to cases requiring little or no follow-up care. Any cases requiring follow-up care are referred to local facilities. That is the nature of most medical relief work.
What type of testing is available - any X-ray machines or the like? Is laboratory testing available?
Obtaining laboratory testing and/or radiological imaging is challenging while working in the field. In the event a patient requires further workup by way of testing arrangements can be made for the patient to go to a local facility.
How are language barriers addressed? Will there be translators?
Translators will be handy, there is usually one translator per physician. They are arranged by READ Foundation.
What are the types of expenses involved for this mission?
Volunteers only pay for their air tickets to and from Haiti. IMR arranges everything else – food, transportation and accommodation.
For the return journey, the team travels to Port au Prince after clinic on Friday. They spend a night at an airport hotel booked by READ Foundation. Team members pay for the night stay which is under $100 per head depending upon room sharing arrangements.
Do I need a visa to travel to Haiti?
Yes, it is needed, but for US & Canadian nationals it is stamped on arrival at Port au Prince airport. Team members from other nationalities have to be in possession of a valid work visa or residence permit.
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