The Lamp is always eager to work in partnership with any organization that seeks to improve conditions in Cité Soleil. This principle certainly includes collaboration with the government, both national and local. Our recently established Community Health Worker program, for example, takes full advantage of our collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Health. Because of this partnership we are able to put our own staff into the Ministry’s training courses and utilize health education materials that have been developed and approved by the Ministry.
Last week we took a new step in this direction. We held our first mobile clinic at City Hall in Cité Soleil. The name Cité Soleil is typically used to denote the huge shanty town on the edge of Port-au-Prince (where the Lamp’s Health Center is located) but it is, in fact, also a “commune” – that is, a municipality with its own mayor. The mobile clinic was organized in direct collaboration with Mayor Huslain Frederick, a politician with a genuine desire to make a positive impact. The joint effort increases the standing of the Lamp in the larger community and allowed us to provide medical services to a whole new population. We will continue to explore this partnership.
Despite the normal difficulty of setting up in a new location, Lamp doctors saw 235 people and continue to follow up with those who need ongoing care. “It was a hard and beautiful journey in Cité Soleil” said our Medical Director, Dr. Hyppolite.