Since the devastating earthquake in Haiti 2010, LifePaths has been working diligently, creating a connected telemedicine system that connects Haitian Doctors, located in Port Au Prince, to patients in the rural areas of Haiti by way of video and internet. We have developed a very effective way to provide health care to the rural populations where the poorest of the poor live. The use of this telemedicine system enables patients to access high quality medical care via video conferencing and data-transmitting instruments. Generally, the 3G internet gives good service, however, if we have interuptions in service we use "record and forward" until it is restored.
In August 2010 we developed a small telemedicine pilot project in a rural northern town called L'Estere, three hours north of Port Au Prince. We have two telemedicine clinics in Rural Haiti and a small hospital in Port Au Prince where the doctors are located and perform the virtual appointments.
In July 2015, we set up our second clinic in Duchity, six hours south of Port Au Prince. We were able to start this clinic by collaborating with pre-med students of University of Michigan, led by Elana Rosenthal, who recieved a grant provided by the 2015 Dow Distinguished Award Grant.
Both clinics provide free patient care and free medication, successfully treating over 50,000 rural Haitians and have provided consistent primary care to the communities. Our hope is to expand throughout Haiti so that other clinics will be connected to one hospital where they can monitor disease breakouts in various areas of the island. LifePaths is very engaged with the people of L'Estere and Duchity and our programs are operated by 100% Haitian medical doctors and telemedicine assistants.
In 2016 we officially set up Dr. Prosper's, our chief medical director based in Port Au Prince, clinic as the Telemedicine Center of Haiti (Polyclinique Turgeau) where the Telemedicine Assistants go for training and health teaching. Dr. Prosper, has estimated that we have reduced malaria, sexually transmitted diseases and other types of infections by up to 30% simply because of the access to health care and the education we provide.
One of the main reasons we began in these rural areas was to draw people back to their local communities (where they have family and land) and away from the already overcrowded population in the Port au Prince core that had become even more concentrated after the earthquake.
By providing health, employment and education programs in these rural areas, people would no longer need to seek these opportunities and services outside of their own communities and would be able to return to their homes. Over the long term our goal is to assist these rural areas in becoming entirely self-sufficient through our community and medical relief projects that we quickly implemented and continue to operate in these regions.
Since entering the communities of L’Estere and Port au Prince over seven years ago, LifePaths has established a Telemedicine Clinic, an Internet Cafe / Business Centre (complete with computer classes), a boutique / artist studio and numerous rice field developments. We have also created a Child Sponsorship Program and currently have twenty-five children that are sponsored by Canadians who provide money so the kids can go to school and have enough food for the families. We also hold an annual concert on the anniversary of the earthquake to remember those who died and were injured.