Cap Haitien Health Network
We are a group dedicated to sharing information and facilitating the movement of resources among groups and individuals involved in medical care, health promotion and education, and water and sanitation in northern Haiti. We aim to introduce individuals and groups to each other, share information between organizations and health facilities, and serve as a channel for organizations to deliver their health supplies throughout the region.
We provide an accessible place for our members to connect with each other by linking organizations with others who can help them meet their goals and needs. Our website and email listserv is used by organizations to post and respond to need, while we frequently receive emails and calls from member organizations with questions, with subjects like:
- We want to register with the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP). Can you help us do this?
- We have some patients who really need access to an X-ray--where should we refer them?
- Do you have suggestions for places that might host a visiting team of two visiting surgeons from the United States for two weeks of education and clinical work?
- This village needs financial and technical assistance with water purification--any suggestions on organizations that may help us?
- We are looking to finance a new clinic in northern Haiti. Can you refer us to the relevant authorities to do so and help us think through our business plan?
Each week we visit several organizations to determine their needs and think through possibilities for linking with other organizations in the area to reach their goals. These visits are often part of distribution trips to pick up and deliver supplies or to attend a meeting between organizations where our knowledge and connections might be handy to participants. Check out our blog for posts on these visits, with stories like these of how we help meet the needs of individuals, organizations, and health sector leaders:
- We are having a meeting between our NGO and another NGO on the transfer of leadership of a basic clinic. Since we have not managed a clinic, we know we need to consult with other organizations in the area when we think about new programs and initiatives. Having a person from the Network Support Team sitting in the meeting will be useful to bring up organizations and individuals that might be useful.
- We are having the Network Support Team visit us to deliver some sodium chloride for use in our medical clinic, and we are going to give them some medications we have that are going to expire soon since we cannot possibly get through all of them. We continue to have a problem with some of our donors on ensuring that essential medications are delivered on-demand. Perhaps the Network can help us think about other possibilities for ensuring that we do not have supply shortages
We also hold meetings to provide networking opportunities and create a place for health sector leaders to disseminate their vision with northern Haiti's active civil society. We have had several large meetings, attended by up to 70 people, with agendas like:
- Welcome and Introductions
- Reports by organizations on activities
- Reminder about availability of Network Support Team
- Presentations on referral resources
- Presentation by Dr. Jasmin, MSSP Director Nord Department, on clinic registration with MSPP
- Discussion of distribution opportunities and needs
We procure supplies from health organizations' surplus and distribute them out as needed from our warehouse in Cap Haitien. We also partner with donor organizations to distribute supplies in northern Haiti. These generous donors include Direct Relief International, Americares, Project Cure, and the International Organization for Migration.
- We maintain a list of supplies which we generally have and a spreadsheet of our distributions, which includes a transparent history of our procurements and distributions.
- Between responding to member requests, reaching out to determine members' need, we are able to search for particular supplies in response to a Network member request and build efficiency in the health sector supply chain in northern Haiti.