Stellar Support from Volunteers
April 6, 2017
Dr. Carol Kuhn and Kim Simonian (MPH), two long-time Konbit Sante volunteers, were in Cap- Haitien last week to conduct an assessment of maternal health services at Fort St. Michel Health Center and the Haitian Baptist Convention Hospital.
They interviewed staff and observed care, focusing on systems issues around the time of delivery when the risk of death is highest for the mother and baby. The assessment is part of a larger effort by Konbit Sante and Hope Health Action to understand the strengths and gaps in maternal and child care delivery in the greater Cap- Haitien area and across our four partner facilities. The information we collect will be shared with our partners and used to prioritize areas for support and intervention.
CAPTION: Kim Simonian & Dr. Carol Kuhn at the gates of Fort Saint Michel Health Center. ( March 2017)
This marks Carol’s 20th and Kim’s 6th trip to Cap-Haitien as Konbit Sante volunteers. As the number of their visits suggests, we couldn’t do our work without the support of our dedicated and exceptionally talented volunteers. We’re a small staff with, as a Haitian colleague put it, “a large footprint.” Volunteers augment staff capacity by working on discrete projects and serve as content experts to staff and partners. Regular travel to Cap also allows volunteers to build relationships with colleagues in Haiti and helps them understand the context in which we work so that each visit contributes to deeper learning and exchange.
My colleagues in Cap and I are deeply grateful to Kim and Carol for their work and the time they spent with us last week. Over the next few months, I will report more about these assessments and how we are using them to plan for improved maternal and child health services in greater Cap-Haitien.
More immediately, stay tuned for a series of stories about maternal health, featuring our Program Manager, Clotilde Josaime St. Jean, and our partners at JUH, FSM, ULS, and HCBH. For those of you who will be in Portland, I invite you to attend Maine Walks with Haiti on May 13. You’ll have an opportunity to meet and talk with Ms. St. Jean at the event and enjoy a morning of food, music, and outdoor fun.
Until next time, my best wishes to you and your family.
Tezita Negussie, Country Director