NSVI (No-Scalpel Vasectomy International) in Haiti

August 30, 2010 - Day 1 - Meeting our support and staff

For information about preparations for this trip, please click here.

Arrival at the Port-au-Prince (PAP) Airport: Drs. Fritz Lolagne of MSH and Dr. Ramon Suarez, President of NSVI (click for the NSVI website).

Wasting no time, we went straight to MSH headquarters in PAP and met with Agma Prins, Chief of MSH Haiti (center) and Dr. Florence Guillaume, MD, MPH, whom I had met in April. We discussed how NSVI and MSH could partner to promote, teach, and provide vasectomy services at multiple sites in Haiti.
The weather was warm but much less humid than in Florida, and Hurricane Frank is drawing the clouds to the north.
MSH leaders are critical to our mutual goals, but the day-to-day busy work is credited to a fine staff. Here we see Joelle Larco, HR Manager and Administration (seated), and Anathalie Durand, Communications Officer, who is busy trying to get some press coverage for our mission in Fermathe four days from now.

Gina Jean Louis Rolles (left) is Dr. Lolagne's administrative assistant and Philippe Jean is Finance and Accounting Manager.
Even without patients, Dr. Suarez uses a computer cable to demonstrate to Dr. Calerbe St. Louis the NSV technique of lifting the vas into position beneath the skin.
On to Cange and Zanmi Lasante
First we stopped at the home of a good friend, the place where Dr. Lolagne stays when he is in PAP, so that he could pick up his own personal supplies for our trip north. It was a rather elegant home and Dr. Lolagne feels very comfortable staying there because it has a wooden roof. He can accept the fate of being crushed by concrete while performing vasectomies or tubal ligations during the next earthquake, but he cannot bear the thought of being buried alive while sleeping, so he always travels with a tent so that he never has to sleep under concrete.
We followed a maze of unpaved streets through PAP to get to the home of Lisette's cousin, where Lisette stays when she is in PAP. Lisette travels and works with Dr. Lolagne for no compensation, just the satisfaction of knowing that she is providing a service so crucial to her country-men and -women.
Lisette had all of our NSV supplies and they were loaded into our two MSH SUVs... ,,, while Dr. Lolagne attempted to repair a broken Mayo stand.
Despite its location hundreds of miles east of Florida, Haiti has chosen to be one hour behind the Eastern Time Zone (the same as Central Time), so it was getting dark at 5:30 PM as we headed for the Central Highlands. And from the road to Cange, we cold look back on PAP.
The road is paved and of excellent quality to Mirebalais ... ... but beyond Mirebalais it is unpaved to Cange.
We missed some nice scenery but the after-dark street life in small crowded towns was interesting to someone from a place where most people remain indoors after dark.
At Zanmi Lasante. we were warmly received by Joanel Joasil, MD, the Medical Director. They had been able to recruit only two patients, but there are three doctors interested in learning the NSV technique, so we will begin their training tomorrow using our NSV videos and training models before we get to the patients.

We also discussed reimbursement for the patients to cover travel costs and lost wages, as well as compensation for facilitators and assistants.

There was no running water since construction on the road disrupted the water main leading to Cange, so we stocked up on drinking water before retiring to our comfortable accommodations. As we prepared for bed, Dr. Lolagne was busy setting up his tent outside.
 On to August 31 Day 2 - Cange
Use the links below to go to any page about Haiti:
First trip to Haiti: April 2010  Second trip to Haiti: August/September 2010 
Preliminary trip to Haiti
April, 2010
Monday Aug 30
Arrival and MSH
Tuesday Aug 31
Wednesday Sep 1
Thursday Sep 2
Cap Haitien
Friday Sep 3

Third trip to Haiti: May/June 2011
Fermathe & Plaisance