Mayo Clinic doctors treat patients in Haiti

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By: Holly Drake

HAITI - Doctors and nurses from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic are working tirelessly to save lives and improve health in Haiti.

In partnership with Operation Blessing, teams of around 10 medical professionals have been arriving in the island nation in waves since the beginning of February.

The doctors and nurses have a variety of specialties and backgrounds including emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, hematology, and even child neurology. They have been putting their skills to work at St. Damien and St. Luke hospitals in Port-au-Prince, treating patients for head trauma, collapsed lungs, strokes, hypertension, and cholera, as well as providing medical training to hospital staff.

"Our partnership with the Mayo clinic is proving to be a lifeline for so many Haitians," said David Darg who has been directing OBI's relief efforts in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. "As each team comes, they are working with the local medical teams to provide training and impart valuable lifesaving knowledge."

"I was at the clinic with one of the Mayo teams and they were dealing with a pediatric case," David continued. "I stood back in awe of their ability to quickly work as a team to diagnose his condition and start preparing and injecting the necessary drugs and IVs."

The medical team also visited Operation Blessing's Zanmi Beni Children's Home where they examined and interacted with the children, many of whom are mentally or physically disabled. It was two years ago that Operation Blessing and Mayo Clinic began working together in El Salvador to develop a health care program that is expanding health education and training for medical professionals as well as increasing access to health care in rural communities.

Since beginning the pilot project in El Salvador, Mayo Clinic has extended their partnership with Operation Blessing to also include Honduras and now Haiti.

At St. Luke's hospital in Port-au-Prince, OB is continuing to help develop the medical infrastructure so that more teams can come and more expert medical care can be given to patients. Mayo teams are scheduled to serve in Haiti through at least the end of May.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Be a part of Operation Blessing's efforts to transform the lives of children and adults in Haiti, please make an online contribution and help us continue to reach those in need.