During its nearly 60 years in operation, HAS has developed a reputation among patients and in the Haitian healthcare community for smart diagnostics – the ability to assess puzzling patient symptoms, identify the underlying cause using appropriate diagnostic tools, and provide treatment that will help patients fully recover and return to productive lives.
The story of HAS patient Wisgens is just one recent example.
A translator from Port-au-Prince, Wisgens is diabetic. He manages the disease well and is normally in excellent shape. He was surprised when, earlier this year, he came down with a severe cough, began to lose weight, and did not have the energy to complete once-routine tasks. His local health center diagnosed him with pneumonia and prescribed antibiotics – yet, after weeks of treatment with a few different rounds of medication, he experienced no improvement.
His sister-in-law, who is from Deschapelles, told him about HAS’ incredible work in the Artibonite – about two-and-a-half hours from the capital city where Wisgens lives with his family. The family decided that they would give HAS a chance since Wisgens had not found relief in Port-au-Prince.
“His condition was very severe when he came in to see us,” remembers HAS Medical Director and internist Dr. Herriot Sannon. The Internal Medicine department at HAS treated Wisgens for what HAS clinicians diagnosed as a lung abscess revealed on a chest x-ray.
“We observed his progress closely as we treated him with an antibiotic combination that included meropenem, which is successful in treating bacteria that can cause a lung abscess,” says Sannon.
Wisgens appreciated the HAS doctors’ approach to his care; they spoke with him regularly about how he was feeling, monitoring his progress closely to find the right treatment for his unique case. “With the dialogue that we had about my care, we were able to explore the possibilities,” says Wisgens. “I want to congratulate all the doctors at HAS. They are always ready to respond to the call of service.”
After three weeks, Wisgens was feeling much better and was sent home with oral antibiotics to ensure full recovery. He has returned for two follow-up visits and has made a complete recovery.
“At HAS, we are fortunate to have a microbiology laboratory, which is relatively rare in Haiti, and to have tools such as a digital X-ray system, which enable us to solve some of the most difficult or unusual cases,” said Dr. Sannon. “And, of course, it’s all possible because of donor support. Our staff and patients are most grateful for this capability.”