On September 12, 2019, a group of nine members, led by the president of Medical Volunteers International (MVI) and Make Men Smile™, Dr. Steven Shu, began a six-day medical mission trip to Cap-Haïtien, a port city on the north coast of Haiti. This is the 3rd medical mission trip to Haiti that MVI has organized and is part of MVI’s multi-specialty mission program in collaboration with the New Hope Hospital in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. It is the 11th medical mission trip that Dr.Shu participated in over the past five years.
The “Make Men Smile™” hydrocele surgery program, the main part of this Haiti mission, is also supported by Surgeon Volunteers and provides free surgical care for local patients with filarial hydroceles.
The mission team worked three full days at the New Hope Hospital in Cape-Haïtien. During this time, the “surgical team,” consisting of Dr. Shu, Dr. Dai, Dr. Fu, and Dr. Shea, along with Dr. Bright, a local surgeon in Cape-Haïtien, performed 31 filarial hydrocele surgeries on patients ranging from 3 to 79 years old. Most of the cases of filarial hydroceles treated were bilateral.
However, in one special case, the patient had a filarial hydrocele accompanied by an inguinal hernia. This procedure required general anesthesia, which was successfully performed by Dr. Fu and Dr. Shea to complete the final corrective repair. In another special case, the patient had a filarial hydrocele with chocolate change in scrotal effusion. Dr. Shu performed a total hydrocelectomy with an epididymectomy and orchiectomy on the infected side.
The mission’s “PCP (Primary Care Physician) team,” consisting of Dr. Xiong, Dr. Li, Dr. Yu, and Dr. Tang, saw almost a hundred patients, ranging from children to adults, with various diseases such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, heart diseases, BPH, osteoarthritis, upper respiratory infections, vaginitis, skin lesions and infections, hydroceles, hernias, malnutrition, meningitis, cancer, and even some rare diseases not commonly seen in the United States. Dr. Yu performed an injection for a plantar fasciitis patient and removed a lesion (most likely “nevus subaceous”) from a scalp lesion patient. Besides treating patients, Dr. Li also kindly gifted free formula she brought from the United States to her pediatric patients with malnutrition.
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen riots, severe drought, and a fuel, water, and food shortage, the clinic saw a significant reduction in patients, and the mission team had to cancel a half-day’s work at the New Hope Hospital.
The situation in Haiti needs attention and help, and we hope our continuation of our mission work at New Hope Hospital will make a positive impact on the Haitian community (Cap-Haitien is out of fuel, water, and food). In addition, we ask you to please send your thoughts and prayers to Haiti.
For more information about MVI and Surgeon Volunteers, please visit MVI, and Make Men Smile™.