We would like to share with you some successful progress that is being made in one of our important patient care programs. Now in its fifth year, the Pediatric Diabetes Program at Hôpital Sacré Coeur remains the only program in northern Haiti that provides comprehensive, free care to children and young adults with type 1 diabetes. The program is directed by HSC pediatrician, Dr. Marc-Mesadieu Exavier.
In late November, CRUDEM volunteers, Drs. Nancy Dunbar and Michael Canarie, spent a week in Milot working with program patients and staff. Both physicians were moved by the passion and dedication of the HSC team and by how much the program helps the children lead healthy, productive lives.
Over the course of 5 days, the team of volunteers and staff met with 52 children and their families to review the status of the children’s diabetes and to help them deal with the unique challenges of their condition. In addition to helping prevent the acute metabolic emergencies that can accompany severe low blood sugars or prolonged high blood sugars, much of the clinical visits were spent reinforcing the most important knowledge and skills needed to live well with diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is different from the more common type 2 diabetes in that it primarily afflicts young people. It is caused by autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cell which produces insulin. Without multiple daily insulin injections Type I diabetes mellitus, is uniformly fatal. Over the past year, the volunteer and staff team developed a Type 1 Diabetes Management Guide in Creole to specifically deal with the needs and concerns of this group. This visual flipchart serves as a teaching tool during visits as well as a curriculum guide for the nurse educator when new patients are diagnosed.
The Pediatric Diabetes Program at HSC provides the necessary supplies, including insulin, syringes, glucometers, test strips, glucose tablets and glucagon emergency kits, free of charge on a monthly basis. Right now, the program is rolling out a new initiative in which each patient and family will meet with the nurse educator every 2-3 months for longer, more extensive individualized sessions to address their specific challenges. Research shows that it is this intensive, continual education and reinforcement that leads to improved, long-term outcomes.
Patients and their needs are a priority at Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Many of the medical programs we offer, including the diabetes program, are designed to meet specific challenges. Daily, we witness how excellent healthcare delivered in a professional and compassionate environment improves the quality of lives and saves lives. Your financial donations determine how many people we can help.
If you would like to help support the important and life-saving patient care programs at Hôpital Sacré Coeur, like the diabetes program, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Your financial gift truly saves lives!
Harold Prévil, MD
CEO, Hôpital Sacré Coeur
Sister Ann Crawley, CSJP
Hôpital Sacré Coeur Outreach
David G. Butler, MD
Chairman, CRUDEM Foundation
P.S. The hospital stays open only with your generous support. Send your tax-deductible donation by Feb 15th. Remember: 100% of your donation goes directly to patient care programs.