Hôpital L’Eglise de Dieu Réformée COVID-19 Response

Haiti Coronavirus Pandemic

WEDNESDAY | APRIL 21, 2020

Hôpital L’Eglise de Dieu Réformée COVID-19 Response

The staff of Hôpital L’Eglise de Dieu Réformée de Saintard is in the process of enacting a plan that is reactive to a new world with CoViD-19. Education is still a major part of this new reality, and medically we need to be diligent to react in an environment that is often depleted in the area of supplies and in the ability to quarantine and/or self-isolate. Below is what the hospital staff has done and is continuing to do.

Education
  • After morning prayers, a member of the nursing staff has been giving updates and education each morning to the waiting patients.
  • Posters providing basic information have been posted in the local schools, businesses, and hospital.
  • Educational talks have been presented at a local church and schools.
  • The CBH (Christians Broadcasting Hope) recording studio at the hospital facility is being used to record community service announcements by some of the hospital’s doctors and is being aired several times on a local radio station.
Prevention + Protection
  • Hand washing stations have been placed at the entrance to the hospital.
  • The staff is using masks and gowns, and masks are provided for any patient entering with a fever and respiratory symptoms and/or at the advice of the screening medical professional.
  • The hospital is continuing to provide essential, emergency services 24/7, but is temporarily discontinuing services such as dentistry, eye care, prosthetics, malnutrition clinic, EKG’s (except in emergency circumstances), and diagnostic ultrasounds (except for obstetric and emergency situations).
  • The gate to the property will be closed and guarded by extra security team members from the hospital, as well as personnel from the Haitian National Police (PNH). Motorized vehicles of patients will not be permitted on the compound UNLESS the patient is unable to walk to the facility from the gate. Upon delivering the patient to the facility, the vehicle’s driver will be asked to leave the compound again.
  • People with respiratory illnesses of any kind will be treated in an area of the hospital separated from those with other emergency situations.
  • Each patient is allowed only one (1) person to accompany them.
  • The staff has decided to provide some services to those who need the assistance of the malnutrition clinic. They will be screened by the pediatrician once monthly and will be seen one by one in an area distant from the hospital, then provided the nutritional supplements needed to sustain them. Some necessary services for those with chronic conditions (diabetes, for example) will be completed with every effort to keep them distanced from the hospital proper and seen individually as possible.
Medical
  • Members of the medical staff (chief of staff, head nurse) have had several meetings with MSPP (the Haitian health department) outlining protocols suggested by WHO, CDC, and MSPP.
  • Since there is not a treatment modality other than symptomatic for COViD-19, the hospital is planning to provide palliative care to those potentially infected. Attempts are being made to procure additional masks, gloves, IV fluids and supplies, acetaminophen, vitamin C, decongestants, oxygen, and antibiotics (IF there is proof of a secondary bacterial pneumonia). Note: We continue to monitor reports on efficacy of chloroquine, but want to move beyond anecdotal evidence before we would implement such a protocol.
  • The hospital is constructing a large structure with a covering and gravel base for isolation of tested-positive patients for COViD-19. ER carts with locally purchased mattresses covered in plastic will sit 6 ft. apart for patients to convalesce.
  • Staff rotations are being altered and a physician and/or a nurse will be placed in protective equipment at the gate to screen each person who enters, by a questionnaire and brief physical exam inclusive of temperature assessment. The patient will then be directed to the appropriate specific area of the facility and masked as necessary.

Will there be challenges in the system? Absolutely. The staff will be reacting and altering the plan as the situation develops. We are thankful that the hospital exists to serve at a time such as this. Our prayer is that we can provide “expert hope” (to quote Paul Farmer). We rest assured that expert hope includes prayer and the overriding hope that Christ provides.

Thank you for your continued prayers for the situation, the patients, the providers, and that the supplies needed can be found. To God be the hope, and the glory!