NYAGI • Haiti
In early 2019, NYAGI was invited to Haiti to help teach ultrasound as part of Project Santé, a country wide program to improve healthcare in Haiti. Our program involved an initial session to teach basic ultrasound skills to over 40 doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Throughout the remainder of 2019 it will be followed up with several return trips to focus on establishing an in-country education lead as well as a network of empowered individuals who will champion ultrasound, bringing this important diagnostic tool to every corner of the country.
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and the poorest in the western hemisphere. The maternal mortality rate was estimated in 2015 as 359 deaths per 1000 live births, ranking Haiti 33rd worst in the world. In 2015, the United States estimated just 14 death per 1000 live births.. Primary care health centers in the remote rural areas are seriously under-resourced, lacking even simple diagnostic tools and often requiring potential patients to travel to secondary and tertiary care centers in the urban areas just to find out if they even need treatment. Basic ultrasound capabilities in the primary care centers will not only save the time and expense of unnecessary, sometimes unsafe, travel, but also reduces the instances of people avoiding preliminary diagnosis due to lack of ability to afford it.
By equipping many of Haiti’s rural healthcare centers with ultrasound equipment and training them in basic diagnostic skills, NYAGI is empowering healthcare providers to properly diagnose everything from treatable complications during pregnancy to childhood pneumonia, fractures, and emergency trauma situations. In addition to this basic training, NYAGI is setting up in-country champions and remote webinar and prerecorded video courses to refresh and continue developing participant’s skills and elevating Haiti’s healthcare system in general.
To date NYAGI has trained over 40 healthcare professionals from over 20 clinics around the country. Plans are in place to support an additional 10 clinics (50 total in 2019) with the skills and resources to fully implement basic ultrasound into their practices.