Doctors from Delaware Medical Relief Team Share Experiences in Haiti
Web Editor - Published: April 5, 2010
On Wednesday, March 31st, doctors Lionel J. Malebranche and Reynold Agard of Christiana Care Internal Medicine and Wilmington News Journal reporter Beth Miller spoke about their experiences with the Delaware Medical Relief Team in Haiti to students, faculty, and staff in the Barrister’s Club on the Delaware campus.

Vice Dean Patrick Kelly, who organized the event, offered a brief introduction before turning things over to Dom del Pino, recently elected as next year’s SBA President. He announced that the SBA would be adopting the Delaware Medical Relief Team as the SBA’s charter charity for fundraising efforts.

Dr. Malebranche then began the presentation, saying, “I want to thank everyone for being here. It shows that love and compassion exist.” He proceeded to offer an overview of Haiti’s history, using a power point presentation to offer facts about the country and its origins. He noted, “Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere,” and then described the devastating effects of the earthquake that struck the island nation on January 12th, 2010, killing more than 250,000.

After presenting the short overview of Haiti’s history, Dr. Malebranche presented a short video in which he walked through the wreckage of the medical school where he trained to be a doctor. He then showed a series of photos taken during the Delaware Medical Relief Team’s trip to Haiti while discussing the experience. He spoke of having to treat traumas despite a lack of proper medical equipment, but noted that even among all the devastation, there remained some hope.

Dr. Reynold Agard, a native of Trinidad and Tobago and a graduate of Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, spoke next. He gave a brief personal background before speaking about the group’s experiences in the Haitian city of Jacmel, located about twenty-five miles outside of the capital city of Port-au-Prince. “The challenges were enormous, but overall it was a rewarding experience. Certainly it was an experience we will never forget,” he said.

News Journal reporter Beth Miller spoke last, saying, “I think we were able to show Delaware readers a remarkable story.” She spoke glowingly of the doctors and nurses who gave their time and talent so freely, noting, “It was remarkable, the skill and zeal with which they worked. I’ve never been so personally moved.”

The three speakers took questions at the conclusion of the program. Asked about the long-term public health challenges facing Haiti, Dr. Malebranche answered, “I think it’s a big challenge moving forward, especially for the people who have no address. There will have to be a governmental effort, probably assisted by those countries willing to help.”