UPDATE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION-MINDED

by Dr. Katie Wolf

For those of you who enjoy following our construction progress, here are some photos from the past couple of weeks.  We have had a very dry summer here, which is not good for the crops, but is very good for our construction.  Rain makes it hard to get materials up to the site and for the workers to work, but, fortunately, the rain that has fallen has been mostly at night and the road is dry by the time the truck starts up the mountain.  We’re grateful for these signs of God’s grace!  Thanks for your prayers and wonderful support!

The stucco work on the pharmacy/lab/xray building is moving along quickly.  The inside of the building is finished, as is the front porch.  This week the masons are finishing up the two sides and back of the building and then it will be done!

Masons doing stucco work on scaffolding on one side of the pharmacy building

Masons doing stucco work on scaffolding on one side of the pharmacy building

Here is the nearly completed side wall

Here is the nearly completed side wall

The patient latrine was dug to a depth of 10 feet, after which a retaining wall was built to prevent collapse of the top of the hole.  Here are the rock walls being built:

RockWalls_Latrine

Rock walls along the sides of the latrine to prevent collapse

Here the walls are up and the framing is built for pouring the concrete columns.  The latrine will be dug down another 10 feet deeper to increase its capacity

Here the walls are up and the framing is built for pouring the concrete columns. The latrine will be dug down another 10 feet deeper to increase its capacity

Here is the clinic building with the latrine behind it and the septic tank further down the slope

Here is the clinic building with the latrine behind it and the septic tank further down the slope

In order to store water to flow down by gravity into the clinic buildings, we’re building a concrete reservoir or cistern on the side of the mountain above the clinic.  Here is the base of the reservoir, dug into the ground a few feet to stabilize the concrete slab that will be the floor:

Base for the reservoir that will hold 10,000 gallons of water

Base for the reservoir that will hold 10,000 gallons of water

Rocks piled up in front of the clinic to be used for the latrine and for the water reservoir up the hill.

Rocks piled up in front of the clinic to be used for the latrine and for the water reservoir up the hill.

Behind the storage depot is the hill on which the reservoir will sit.  When the initial excavation of the land was done using a borrowed backhoe and bulldozer, the mountain wasn’t cut back far enough to allow for drainage and prevention of erosion.  So, for the past few weeks, we’ve employed several strong, young men to cut back the mountain using pick-axes and shovels.  Here’s part of the wall that they’ve cut back:

Cutting back the mountain

 

AND, FOR THE MEDICALLY-MINDED

Last week, this little boy came into the clinic, holding a bloody rag to his face from a laceration he sustained in a fall.  He was changing his goat’s grazing location and tripped, falling onto a sharp rock on the ground.  Fortunately, his mother lives nearby and brought him quickly to the clinic to be seen.  Since it was a fresh laceration, we took time from our other patients to sew him up.  He was a model patient, never flinching with the local anesthetic injections or the sutures.  In fact, he slept through the whole procedure!  Here he is a week later, ready to have his sutures removed:

Facial laceration a week after being sutured

Facial laceration a week after being sutured

For those of you astute clinicians, I want to assure you that, in addition to fixing his laceration, we also treated his fungal scalp infection!

Bad case of tinea capitis

Bad case of tinea capitis

Every once in a while, we have the opportunity of attending activities at the government hospital in Jérémie.  A good friend of ours, Concepcia Pamphile, is the Assistant Medical Director of the hospital and she invited us to attend the dedication ceremony for a new Maternity Wing of the hospital.  This occasion also corresponded with the celebration of the hospital’s 90th year of existence!  Attending the ceremony was the Minister of Health, who I was privileged to meet.

Haiti’s Minister of Health, Dr. Florence Guillaume, addresses the audience

Haiti’s Minister of Health, Dr. Florence Guillaume, addresses the audience

Banner announcing the dedication of the new Maternity Wing of Hopital Saint Antoine

Banner announcing the dedication of the new Maternity Wing of Hopital Saint Antoine

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