To Haiti: "I am overwhelmed"

by Annette Dier/RBU,  2011/02/02

In autumn last year Annette Dier attended the humedica training for medical relief assistants. Only a few months later she went on her first mission: the doctor travelled to Haiti, where cholera patients still need help urgently. The following report tells you about Annette Dier's experiences, impressions and emotions.

Cholera is life-threatening because it causes complete dehydration of the patients' bodies and as a consequence leads to circulatory collapse and cardiac arrest. In order to fight the disease, patients are put on a drip. Photo: humedica

At the beginning of my journey, which was my first mission for humedica, I was completely overwhelmed. I was distressed and touched by the extremes I was faced with in Haiti. On the one hand there were undamaged, beautiful roads, on the other hand completely over-crowded refugee camps and absolute poverty.

After my arrival at the humedica accommodation, I was welcomed by the other members of the humedica mission team as if I had worked with them for years. An unknown, but fantastic feeling.

Klaus, a hospital orderly, had already been to the "Hospital of Hope" in Port-au-Prince several times before and he patiently explained all the processes to me, the novice, presented me to the other team members and answered all my questions with the patience of Job. That helped me immensely to overcome my initial fears.

But my working place was not to be the capital of Haiti, but the city of Drouin which is located north of it and where the number of cholera patients is still high. There, my new colleagues were already awaiting my arrival in order to show me everything. Together with nurse Antonie Riesen we took care of all the cholera patients after two days in which we were handed over processes and responsibilities.

Every single one of our new patients has made a lasting impression on me. They waited patiently for their turn of being treated, no matter how long this waiting time was and how slow we, the "new ones" worked. I have to admit that I definitely needed this time in the beginning.

I was also very impressed by the owners of our accommodation in St. Marc, from where we drove to the hospital in Drouin every day. They were unbelievably hospitable and concerned for our well-being. One weekend, I was ill and had to stay in bed. It was wonderful how everyone took care of me: our neighbour cooked for me, the son of the house called me from his mobile several times a day in order to ask me for my condition, and also the 94 year-old senior of the house was very concerned for my well-being.

It is the children in particular who have grown on doctor Annette Dier and nurse Antonie Riesen (picture). Photo: humedica

I can hardly put the people's friendliness and gratitude into words and I was deeply touched by it. Most of the Haitians own very little, or nothing at all, but they are always cheerful and show us that they appreciate our work.

These three weeks of my first mission convinced me that my decision to contact humedica in order to help the people in Haiti and work at the hospital was definitely right.

After having gained these experiences, I really hope that I will be sent to Haiti to help the people there once more. I have grown fond of the country and its inhabitants and also of the humedicans.

Kind regards from Ettlingen,
Yours Annette Dier"

The mission of our medical teams with the objective of treating cholera patients had originally been planned to be concluded by the end of January. However, due to a once more increasing number of cholera patients, it has been extended. We need your support for these relief efforts. Please remain at our side.

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference "Haiti cholera"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Stadtsparkasse Kaufbeuren

Please also donate online for the life-saving treatment of cholera patients in Haiti or support us by means of sending a text message: simply send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90 and make a great contribution to helping the people in Haiti by donating the small sum of 4.83 euros.

Annette Dier had definitely made the right decision when she went on a mission to help those in misery. Thank you very much for your commitment, dear Annette. Photo: humedica/Antonie Riesen

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