Technology Upgrade: $25,000
As indicated to the SVC Board by the Minister for Inclusion, Dr. Gerald Oriol, technologically-savvy individuals will have employment preference for future jobs in Haiti. We want our students to be among that group! But, we need to begin educating them with those needed skill sets now, and we need to address some of their disabilities with devices which can enhance their education. For example, our visually-impaired, but not blind, students can benefit greatly from digital tools which enlarge letters and adjust the contrast lighting: something our blackboards cannot do. To equip our students now and for the future, we must upgrade our technology. We must upgrade it also for the benefit of our staff which wrestles with daily interruptions in service due to outmoded equipment. For example, rain can eradicate something as "normal" as a telephone conversation. Imagine what the rainy season does to an already-erratic internet connection! Our need is for a robust communications system which serves students, faculty, and administration alike. We are already planning to offer continuing education for our faculty - and for that, we need ready access to Skype, Zoom and other such tools.
A Medical Analysis Laboratory for St. Vincent's Medical Center: $10,027
Our small Medical Center and Brace Shop on Rue Paul VI in downtown Port-au-Prince offers pediatric, orthopedic, diagnostic (X-ray), and ophthalmic services to children up to the age of 15. Because St. Vincent's is a brand name for good medical care, we serve the poorest of the poor, who come from all over the country. For the first visit, we charge 1,000 gourdes (approximately $8.00 at 2020 exchange rate). Each visit thereafter costs 750 gourdes. When the Center and Brace Shop are fully open, we see 400-500 patients a month.
The healthcare professionals at the Medical Center and the patients have, for several years, advocated for an on-site medical analysis laboratory. Blood and urine tests could then be conducted quickly with prompt results for patients (who then do not need to pay to travel elsewhere). Doctors would have easy and instant access to the results and be able to prescribe accordingly. The Medical Center would have an additional source of income.
While space is at a premium at the Center, a laboratory does not require much; and St. Vincent's could "carve out" a dedicated laboratory from some currently little-used space on the second floor. The payoff of this for physicians and patients in terms of efficiency, expense and, most importantly, speed of diagnosis and subsequent treatment, is invaluable.
The list of the most commonly requested lab tests by the Medical Center staff include the following: complete blood count; sickle cell anemia; malaria; cholera; parasites; thyroid deficiencies; bone growth; liver activity. While this is not an exhaustive list, it indicates the many different diseases from which Haitians suffer and can be reliably treated, once diagnosed.
The total cost for establishing St. Vincent's Medical Analysis Laboratory is $10,027.00. This includes:
Laboratory equipment …………...…... $ 8,700.00
(The spectrometer, microscope, and centrifuge account for $5,347 of this amount.)
Computer and printer .…………………. $ 552.00
Retrofitting the room ……………........ $ 375.00
Furniture (for office and patients) … $ 400.00
Potable Water for St. Vincent's School at Santo 17: $13,850
In addition to 200 students, St. Vincent's has some 40 residents, 50+ faculty, caretakers, administrators, maintenance and medical staff at our Santo 17 site. While there is an aquifer in Santo 17, the water is not potable and must be treated to become so. Thus, we must purchase bottled water to ensure safe consumption.
Production of treated water in Haiti is a profitable business. In fact, before St. Vincent's moved the School to Santo 17, we sold treated water at our downtown Port-au-Prince location. We would like to resume this service, not only for ourselves, but also for our neighbors. For access to quality water, we would charge a modest fee and would also provide training in water hygiene and use of safe water, thereby reducing the risk of disease.
To ensure that the water we offer is of the highest quality, we will treat it by reverse osmosis and then infrared filtering. We will need to repair a building to host the water system. The sheet metal roof needs to be replaced with concrete; and two water towers will be installed inside: One of 500 gallons will contain the raw water and the second of 300 gallons will receive the treated water.
The total cost of this system is $ 13,850.00:
Repair of building and concrete roof construction...... $1,000.00
Two water towers...... $850.00
Purification equipment..... $12,000.00
Air Conditioning for Administrative Offices: $6,000
St. Vincent's administrative offices are small and hot. Our Administrators spend long hours in them, communicating with faculty and staff, medical personnel, government administrators, bus drivers, visiting groups, Haitian and U.S. Trustees. A more comfortable environment would enable them to handle tasks more quickly and efficiently, not to mention the ameliorating effect on their brains!
Air Conditioning the Brace Shop Supply and Audiogram Rooms: $2,065
Haiti's unrelenting hot and humid climate accelerates the rate of deterioration and decay of many materials. Pollution from incessant traffic combined with dust from the mostly-dirt roads infiltrates offices kept open for ventilation. The combination of these factors causes St. Vincent's to seek air conditioning for our downtown Port-au-Prince Brace Shop supply room and the small space we use for hearing tests.
Both of these rooms are on the second floor of the Medical Center on Rue Paul VI. Flammable and other heat-sensitive products necessary to prosthetic production are stored in the supply room. Some of the products harden to the point of uselessness in the heat; others become dry and lose their effectiveness. Thus, our supply - and investment in it - dwindles. Since some of these materials come from the United States, it takes a long time to replace them. (Even longer in a pandemic, when no one is traveling to bring the items down.)
A pure tone hearing test is non-invasive. It shows the type, degree, and configuration of hearing loss, enabling the audiologist to prescribe treatment, e.g., a hearing aid, education in sign language and/or lip reading, or possible surgery. The only opening in our hearing test room is the door. There are no windows and no cross-ventilation to provide comfort during the 20-30 minute test.
The solution for both of these spaces are room air-conditioners. Because the Medical Center has a 60-watt generator which runs 24/7, there will always be power.
Cost of this project is as follows:
1 AC of 12,000 BTU and 1 AC of 1800 BTU air conditioner..... $1,000
Accessories ..... $200
Electrification (plugs, pipes, brakers, safety switch, etc.)..... $250
Transport to Medical Center..... $50
The total cost of $2,065 is a small price for the preservation of materials and the comfort of our audiologist and young patients.
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