A Descriptive Analysis of Patient Encounter Data from the UT Southwestern Ede Jodi Humanitarian Relief Trip to Haiti
MetadataShow full item record
BACKGROUND: Every day, millions of Haitians struggle against hunger, poverty, and illness. This situation has been exacerbated in recent years by a series of hurricanes, famines, the 2010 earthquake, and the cholera outbreak, which began in the Artibonite region. Physicians and students at UT Southwestern operate a charitable clinic in Pont Sonde in Artibonite, Haiti, to alleviate the burden of preventable, communicable, and chronic disease. OBJECTIVE: To determine the range and burden of disease in the patient population of a rural primary care clinic in a developing tropical country. METHODS: Data from all patient encounters during a weeklong relief trip in March 2012 were analyzed for Haitians who received medical treatment at a primary care clinic in the Artibonite region of Haiti. Demographic data, diagnoses, and prescribed medications were recorded and tabulated. RESULTS: There were 843 medical visits recorded during the humanitarian relief trip. Children under 18 years accounted for 48% of clinic visits. Of the 406 pediatric patients seen, 52.7% were female. Child ages ranged from seven days to 17 years (mean 4.5, S.D 4.4 years). The most common diagnoses for pediatric patients were dermatologic infections such as tinea and scabies (29%), gastrointestinal diseases (22%), and respiratory infections (22%). Five percent of pediatric patients were anemic. Every child was given Mebendezole to empirically treat intestinal worms, and children younger than five years were given Vitamin A to reduce morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases. Of the 437 adult patients seen, 72.1% were female. Patient ages ranged from 18 to 95 (mean 47.8, S.D. 19.0). In adult patients, the ten most prevalent diagnoses were muscle/joint pain, hypertension, GERD, eye irritation, headaches, UTI, cataracts, vaginitis, abdominal pain, and allergic conjunctivitis, accounting for 61% of the total diagnoses. Nearly 30% of adult patients had muscle/joint pain, 21% had hypertension, and 20% had GERD. CONCLUSIONS: Haitians residing in the Artibonite region in Haiti require targeted healthcare interventions, health education programs, and sustainable management and prevention strategies for chronic diseases. This research can be used immediately for future missions to similar developing tropical countries to better supply their trips and prepare for the conditions on the ground, allowing for more efficient diagnosis and treatment.