Medical Provider Guide
The FHM Medical Provider Guide aims to equip and inform the providers traveling to Haiti with Family Health Ministries for the practice of medicine in Haiti. Medical practice in Haiti, as in most developing countries, has a distinctly different feel than practice in the United States. The lack of resources for even the most basic tests can often frustrate medical providers who are accustomed to confirming their diagnosis with labs and X-rays. In Haiti, few people have the resources to pay for labs, and many tests are unavailable within a reasonable distance. Lasting improvement in the communities’ health can be accomplished even through short-term trips when the providers leave behind knowledge.
Please reflect on the true purpose of this ministry: to be the hands and feet of Christ. Christ challenged us to “care for the least of these.” On this trip you will be answering that call. During your time in Haiti, please keep your eyes on the Great Physician who can heal not only illness but can change hearts. Let Him use this time to change your heart and use your hands and feet to change other’s hearts as well.
This “Provider Guide” is intended for use by individuals traveling with Family Health Ministries. It is a collection of information intended to diagnose and treat common diseases that occur in less developed counties where standard diagnostic testing is limited. This guide is not intended to substitute for professional medical judgment and intervention. Please note the following:
- Medicine is not an exact science. The art of diagnosis is a learned activity taught through experience and training. FHM only allows currently certified medical personnel to provide patient care at FHM-sanctioned clinics.
- Not all possible differential diagnoses for disease symptoms may be listed in this guide.
- Only the most common symptoms are listed for each disease.
- General descriptions for common diseases are included in this provider guide but may not be reflective of presentations of the disease state in other low-resource countries. How a disease manifests itself may vary according to a particular strain of infecting organism, the environment, and the age and ethnic background of the patient. For example, the symptoms of Chlorea may present very differently in Haiti than in a country like India.
- Only the most common and cost-effective drugs for therapy are listed. More effective alternative drugs may or may not be available in Haiti.
- Every effort has been made to double-check all recommended doses in this provider guide, but it is essential for providers to check all unfamiliar drugs against another reference if they are unsure of the correct use and dosage.
- Please make sure that you are familiar with any precautions and possible side effects of any therapy prescribed and that you review these with the patient prior to their departure.
- It is ultimately the responsibility of the provider using this provider guide to execute appropriate diagnosis and subsequent care.