Arcahaie / Health Fair
“regular, periodic check-ups with accompanying medical records
are what most good intentioned rural medical programs are lacking, not with us though……”
Dr. Edward Duret M.D.
The ‘Health Fair’ project is the brainchild of Dr. Edward Duret M.D., in collaboration with his medical organization Group 72 and the ARN Foundation of Haiti.
Dr. Duret, received all his formal medical education within Haitian facilities and has been devoted to rural medical practice within Haiti over the past twenty years. His surgical expertise and preventative medicine workshops have saved countless of Haitian lives. At the onset of the Jan.12th earthquake, Dr. Duret, flew from his Oregon practice, first worked with the Doctors Without Borders medical team and then independently went to Jacmel to “find those left out of the massive relief efforts within Port-au-Prince.”
Rural health care, even before the Jan.12th earthquake in Haiti, was minimal to non-existent, primarily because of the cost for clinical exams and prescription drugs. When provided, it was typically well-intentioned missions that delivered pharmaceuticals until all were dispersed and then left. No patient’s records were taken, or follow up visits scheduled. The intension of the Dec ’09,‘Health Fair’ was to be able to show the positive results over time: of documented medical records; with establishing a medical history; and to demonstrate the need for preventive health problems on a daily basis.
The site for the first ‘Health Fair’ was within the ARN Foundation of Haiti’s Digue Matheux/Arcahaie site where approximately 1,500 Haitians were welcomed, for free. All 1,500 patients were given record forms to complete, received clinical exams from pedestrians, to ob-gyn services and even included minor surgeries by the Group 72 medical staff. Pre-quake scheduling of ‘Health Fair’ events was to be on a quarterly basis. Now with the influx of the re-settlement camps, other priorities have evolved. It is hoped that Group 72, with the assistance of the ARN, will be able to collaborate with local health providers, so as to be able to accommodate the ‘Health Fair’ at various regional medical facilities.