Guirlene Leads Community Health in Petit Trou

Guirlene was deftly juggling a mix of administrative, clinical, and organizational tasks when Colorado-based staff from CHP met with her at Petit Trou’s local clinic in July. Thanks to her leadership, 25 Community Health Aides had just completed 1,500 surveys collecting community health and population data, along with a particular focus on access to and knowledge of the moringa tree.

Despite the mountain of tasks on her plate, Guirlene graciously made time for the meeting, as she always does. Her remarks in the meeting reflected her dedication to her community’s health.

Guirelene pictured with  Patrick Desir , the director of Petit Trou's seed bank.

Guirelene pictured with Patrick Desir, the director of Petit Trou's seed bank.


When asked about the biggest challenges presently facing the clinic, she explained how disappointed she was that a health program encouraging mothers to deliver their babies in the clinic had sunsetted in the region (a NGO that had been supporting the program recently moved to other areas in Haiti.) In rural communities like Petit Trou de Nippes, a variety of factors—including challenges related to transportation and infrastructure, tradition, and religious beliefs—lead to some women giving birth at home with traditional birth attendants rather than deliver at a clinic. Guirlene hopes more women deliver at clinics because it is proven to lead to better health outcomes for both mother and child. Guirlene and CHP staff brainstormed ways for local Health Agents and/or CHP might support clinic deliveries in the future.

We’ll revisit these solutions again at a future meeting in October, convening Guirlene, her staff, the health workers, traditional birth attendants, and St. Paul’s School representatives. We look forward to updating you on these conversations on future Year in the Life entries!