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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Translator Tribute

Greetings from the Hopital.  While we continue to see untreated earthquake related trauma from the Jan. 12 quake, we are functioning more like a hospital and less like a disaster response unit every day.  We do still have approximately 40 patients outside in tents but, have the entire 2nd floor NE wing devoted to and filled with in-patients.  The 1st floor SE wing is also filled with patients in our pre-op and two post-op rooms.  At any point in time we are housing about 50 patients inside the main hospital and another 20 or so in the in-patient pediatrics and obstetrics wards in the polyclinic building.  We continue to staff and support a very active 24x7 emergency room, as well as OB/GYN, Ortho, and Medicine clinics Monday - Friday.  The operating room remains very busy averaging 15 surgical cases per day, 8 - 10 orthopedic/reconstructive, 2 - 3 OB, and the balance general surgical cases.  The stream of volunteer medical staff continues to flow into the hospital here thanks to the efforts of our coordinating body at the LLU Global Health Institute.

On Wednesday morning seven of our translators–a group of handsome, strong young men–surprised us at our morning briefing by giving a heart-warming thank-you and tribute.  They had it all planned and staged and even had made special wooden plaques that they gave to some of our long term volunteers.  The plaques read, "Thank you for helping us in Haiti, together we move."  The translators have been a God-send.  They are always friendly and eager to help (and their help is much needed).  Communication has been a big challenge, since the majority of volunteers speak neither french or creole fluently.  Imagine 70 english-speaking volunteers trying to communicate with hundreds of patients, family members and the 100+ Haitian hospital staff on a daily basis–impossible without the devoted help of these really amazing guys.

  The O.R. translator team and Dr. Chandy

Thanks all around

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