Reflections: Kevin Melanson
“Our experience evaluating and treating some musculoskeletal disorders displayed the need for, and potential benefit from, increased access to musculoskeletal braces and rehabilitative exercises in Haiti.”
Can you share some of your thoughts on the trip?
Overall, my experiences working with the amazing, joyous, and resilient people of rural Haiti has shown me the importance and value of being compassionate towards others; it does not matter where you come from, what you believe in or what you do, every person on this planet is a human being and should be treated like one.
On our trip this past June, we were able to work with 36 of Project Medishares’s Community Health Agents, empowering them with an increased ability to treat and prevent low back pain in their patients. Based on our experience with these community health agents, their ability to quickly learn these foreign exercise programs indicates great potential for future program development.
The physical demands from the work-specific tasks and activities of daily life observed in this region displayed the vulnerability to, and significance of, musculoskeletal disorders in rural Haiti. On our trip, we had the opportunity to evaluate and treat 14 different people with musculoskeletal disorders ranging from a knee sprain to low back pain. We were able to provide every patient with rehabilitation exercises, pain management techniques, or a supportive brace for their condition. Our experience evaluating and treating some musculoskeletal disorders displayed the need for, and potential benefit from, increased access to musculoskeletal braces and rehabilitative exercises in Haiti.