humedica doctor takes part in a large-scale vaccination campaign

by Philine Schlagberger/RBU,  2010/03/18

Dr Philine Schlagberger is a specialist in internal medicine from Regensburg and she has been treating patients in Haiti since February 27. She has dedicated her energy and work to the daily treatment of numerous patients at the mobile hospital and to supporting the humedica team in Léogâne. Furthermore, she is taking part in a large-scale vaccination campaign.

“The immunisations we have administered today are the second round of a vaccination campaign in the framework of which all those injured during the earthquake have been vaccinated against diphtheria and tetanus. Today’s vaccinations are to protect adults from diphtheria and tetanus, children younger than 8 months additionally from pertussis and children older than 8 months from measles and rubella.

Most of the little boys and girls do not particularly mind being vaccinated. Photo: humedica/Maria Rivera

We are a large and very diverse team. Together with an American doctor and a nurse of the US organisation Medical Teams International, a Spanish pharmacist who is a member of Pharmacists without Borders and supports our humedica team in Léogâne, and a Haitian nurse, I, Philine Schlagberger, humedica doctor, have administered vaccinations all day long.

As additional support, interpreters and the Haitian campaign leader responsible for the area around Léogâne have helped us to communicate with our patients.

Of the destroyed village church, only the church benches and the altar are still intact, the latter having been turned into a registry. Waiting patients have been sitting on the church benches and locals have brought tables and chairs with them as additional seats and working stations.

Already the first patient decided he disliked the sting of the syringe and he started crying bitterly. However, our pharmacist reacted very quickly and within a short time she became quite successful in children’s animation. She managed to distract our little patients so well that they only realised they have been vaccinated after all was over.

As a reward, every child was then given a relatively tasty little capsule which – in the opinion of us, the medical staff – has the positive side effect of containing vitamin A. Immediately after the vaccination, the little ones furthermore were given a drug against helminthiasis.

Young and older patients are waiting for their vaccinations sitting on those church benches which are still intact. Photo: humedica/Maria Rivera

We have administered vaccinations until we ran out of the first vaccines and at the end of the day about 100 children and 100 adults have received some first protection from the above mentioned diseases. Tomorrow the campaign will continue at another village.

Just next door the vaccination campaign for adults and children older than seven years was being carried through very quietly and without tears. The Haitians have a substantially more open-minded attitude towards vaccinations than the one I have experienced in Germany. Many of those who have been present today have been vaccinated on a regular basis even before the earthquake.”

In order to administer medical support such as this and to offer sustainable support to the Haitian population also in future, we would like to ask you for your help. Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      Donation Reference “Earthquake Haiti
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren


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