This is an interview of Ms. Mashka LaFond (University of Chicago Class of 2013). She participated in Project Medishare in Haiti in the Summer of 2011 You can contact her via email with any further questions.
What is the name of your summer program?
Project Medishare located in Haiti, sponsored by the University of Miami. http://www.projectmedishare.org/
Please give a brief summary of the program
Project Medishare is committed to training to Haitian nurses and doctors as well as providing medical supplies to hospitals throughout Haiti.
Please give a brief summary of your experience with the program
I was at one of the hospitals sponsored by Project Medishare in Port-au-Prince for a month. During that month I was able to witness many surgeries and see many different causalities. I was lucky enough to assist in emergency care, as well as being a translator for the American physicians and nurses. I absolutely recommend this volunteer program, it is an eye-opening experience to the medical disparities of other countries.
Could you talk about the good/great/amazing things about your program?
Project Medishare is an amazing program making real changes in the lives of Haitians. They offer free emergency medical care and free medicine to those in dire need. They have one of the only CT scanners in Haiti which has helped many doctors save hundreds of lives.
What about things in the program that could have been better?
There is nothing I would change about my experience, it was truly a life changing month.I learned how important preventative care and basic sanitary care can be and when that is lacking in a country the detrimental effects it has on medical care.
Anything important that you learned during your experience that you want to share?
Project Medishare is a critical care hospital in Haiti that has been funded as a teaching hospital, so that one day soon it can be solely run by Haitian nurses and doctors. My experience was eye opening to all the medical disparities in my country. I was able to see first hand surgeries on leg and hand wounds, as well as a condyloma surgery(surgical removal of genital warts). One of the American orthopedic surgeons actually allowed to me irrigate hand wounds before operations. I was shocked by the many basic illness’ that could be avoided if people were just educated on basic cleanliness habits. There are so many sad stories that I witnessed during my trip, that sometimes I still can’t believe are actually happening to this day. I’m extremely troubled and upset by the lack of medical treatment available in my country and all the medical issues that come along with being a third world country recently ravaged by a earthquake. This trip has inspired me to work harder so that I can return and be an actual help to the sick people of Haiti.
Could you explain the application process and any tips for students interested in the program?
The application process is very simple and it can be accessed at this site http://www.projectmedishare.org/.
If you had a summer experience you would like to share with the University community, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org