Homeopaths Without Borders-NA (HWB) has accomplished another successful mission to Haiti. Volunteers Sally Tamplin, Holly Manoogian and Alyssa Wostrel travelled to Port-au-Prince on May 23 and returned home on June 3, participating in the longest, most intense undertaking in that country by HWB. Responding to requests by charitable groups in Haiti, the volunteers worked not only in the capital but also travelled to sites in the countryside. Their ten-day schedule was a whirlwind of compassionate homeopathic intervention.
Sally, who was on her third mission to Haiti, led the group. They began their clinical work with a return to St. Vincent’s School for the Handicapped, where HWB has treated students and faculty since July 2010. This provided an opportunity for Holly and Alyssa to gain familiarity with the Haitian culture and with using a translator to gain information for diagnosis.
The comparative comfort of St. Vincent’s was left behind as the group travelled to Leogane, the epicenter of the January 2010 quake, over roads still difficult to maneuver, where they set up a clinic for two days at Living Waters for Top of the World, an affiliate of the Presbyterian Church. As has been true of all the sites where volunteers have offered care, the group was welcomed and kept busy with a steady stream of ill people. Several days later, the group was on the road again, going to the Ganthier School, west of Port-au-Prince near the Dominican Republic border.
In between these road trips and during their last few days, various sites around Port-au-Prince served as clinic venues . The trio devoted very full days providing medical assistance at two sites run by the Baptist Mission Group (one of which had been served before by HWB) : the Carrefour Cote de Plage tent camp and the Association of Protection of Women and Children Again. The number of people in need of help almost overwhelmed the group, and meals and breaks were forsaken in an effort to diagnose and treat as many as possible.
The team reported that conditions in Haiti remain difficult; piles of rubble still sit in the streets, roads are filled with potholes and rebuilding is extremely slow. Potable water is scarce as is sufficient food, and fear of cholera is evident.
Haitians continue to demonstrate symptoms of trauma and grief from an earthquake that took place a year and a half ago. Skin problems such as ringworm are prevalent as are gastrointestinal problems including severe diarrhea; some of the latter are related to poor nutrition. Vaginal infections persist. The group treated several very ill infants who were malnourished, dehydrated, underdeveloped, feverish and covered with rashes from head to toe.
Although a great variety of remedies were used, the following were the most frequently administered: Arnica, Aconite, Ignatia, Causticum, Nat mur, Sepia, Phosphorus acid and Sulphur.