Strengthening Healthcare Infrastructure in Haiti

November 3, 2017

Two members of Konbit Sante’s Board of Directors just completed a week-long visit to Cap-Haitien to provide professional technical assistance on a variety of maintenance, inspection, and planning issues for three of our healthcare partner facilities, supporting progress on one of the “building blocks” of good quality care – health facility infrastructure.

Board President Bob MacKinnon and Board Director Hugh Tozer spent seven days working on more than a dozen projects at the Justinian University Hospital, ULS, and the Haitian Convention Baptist Hospital installing and repairing equipment, inspecting power systems, reviewing building construction, advising on plans for erosion mediation, meeting with staff, and more.

Bob is a water utility superintendent with the Yarmouth Water District and has a background in construction, and Hugh is a professional engineer and industrial wastewater service line leader with Woodard & Curran in Portland. Both have extensive expertise in their fields.

Here are just some of the projects the pair completed in one week:

  • Troubleshooting a problem with the water filtration system at HCBH
  • Installing oxygen manifolds for use with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines in the neonatal ward of JUH
  • Inspecting solar panels on the roof of the JUH Pediatric Building
  • Taking measurements for the mediation of stormwater drainage and stabilization of hillside erosion at the new ULS Health Center construction site in Fort Bourgeois
  • Installing a washing machine in the JUH laundry services

Konbit Sante has a group of volunteers who travel to Haiti for engineering and maintenance projects. Bob and Hugh have both visited Haiti many times before, but each visit brings a renewed sense of satisfaction for the work they do individually and for the work of Konbit Sante as a whole.

“It is unbelievably satisfying and meaningful for me to go to the peds [Pediatric Building at JUH] and do something simple like install an oxygen manifold, and then turn around and see a little baby using it,” Bob said. “That’s pretty powerful.”

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