Gift wrapped for Haiti

Delivering much needed supplies to Haiti all wrapped in a beautiful ambulance package.

The cancellation of our academic medical mission to Haiti was just one example of the innumerable consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

As part of my Medicine in Society rotation, myself and five other students had planned to travel with three physicians to Haiti, but sadly travel restrictions side-lined our student team, stranding us and the much needed supplies in New Orleans only weeks before our planned departure.

After selection for the Haiti team last summer, we’d orchestrated fundraising events, sustainable health intervention proposals, and medical supply acquisition for the better part of the year with the intention of not only delivering our secured resources but to directly serve the health needs of New Orleans’ sister city, Cap Haitian.

We watched helplessly as news articles with titles like “For Haitians, Die of Hunger Today or Coronavirus Tomorrow” served as a reminder of the needs of the community we had hoped to serve are now being amplified by the stress of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, our mentor Dr Yvens Laborde, continued to work tirelessly with Haiti’s Ministry of Health to assist with the rapidly evolving needs of the country in response to the coronavirus.

As founder of humanitarian foundation, Centre De Sante Fondylsahh, Dr Laborde was able to focus his efforts to respond to the mayor of Cap Haitian’s request for an ambulance, he created an unexpected opportunity for the student team.

Through the massive efforts of Dr Laborde, the acquisition and transport of an ambulance was coordinated allowing our student team to take advantage and optimize the vehicles as a vessel to finally deliver not only the supplies our team had acquired, but also larger equipment that had been stranded in New Orleans due to weight restrictions of air travel. 

We were thrilled to continue to contribute to UQ-Ochsner’s long standing alliances with FONDYLSAHH.

Through the culmination of our efforts we were able to Tetris our entire inventory of supplies in addition to toys and school uniforms for the local children.

Though not the ending we had expected, this was a massive victory to finally coordinate the delivery of much needed supplies wrapped in a beautiful ambulance package.

Last updated:
28 August 2020