Tuesday, February 24, 2015

St Paul’s Torbeck Hypertension Clinic

Our patients expectantly waiting to be seen at the 
Torbeck clinic on Saturday 1/31/2015
St Paul’s Cathedral has a special relationship with one Haitian Episcopal Church: St. Paul’s in Torbeck Haiti.

 In 2007 Drs. Molly Kelly, Bart Smoot and Martin Kabongo along with Carolyn Lief and Sue Kelly did a field trip to Torbeck to help establish protocols for a nurse-run hypertension clinic at the parish there. Hypertension is a big problem for Haitians as they age, and we felt this was one problem that we could help with by establishing a basic treatment protocol that Haitian nurses could follow.

 We have had some modest degree of success with this, and in fact have been treating between 50 and 100 people for this disease at the parish. The Cathedral has been the principle supporter for this endeavor – donating many thousands of dollars for medications and salaries for the staff there – which include two nurses and a support person who staff the clinic on a weekly basis. We use in-country resources to maintain a consistent drug formulary for our patients.

This man came in recently with a 
blood pressure of 220/110.  
After being prescribed medications his 
blood pressure on 1/31/15 was 140/80!
The good news is that through the generous donations of many benefactors at St Paul’s, we have been able to keep this clinic going for 7 years now. The bad news is that we are now out of money. It takes about $2500/year in medications to provide blood pressure medications to about 50 people. That works out to $50/person/year, which is a fraction of what it costs here in the US. Please help us keep this clinic going. Make a gift to St Paul’s Cathedral. Place ‘Haiti – hypertension clinic’ on the memo line.


Bart Smoot

Dr. Kabongo (and me in background) with the 
Haitian nurses who now run the clinic

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