What inspired Dr. Patrick A. DeHeer to found Step By Step Haiti? The devastating economic chokehold diabetes has had on the country. The organization works with mothers, fathers, and children who, due to a dismal healthcare system, have had limbs amputated. Step by Step Haiti believes such drastic measures are avoidable with proper medical treatment, physician education, and patient self-care, and they are committed to providing these options for their community.
Currently, the project uses space donated by the local hospital, Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. For long-term success, they look forward to one day owning a separate larger wound care clinic. With more space, they could serve a larger number of patients, and hopefully over time, vastly reduce the country’s mortality rate related to limb amputation and diabetes. Studies shows that once a diabetic patient has an amputation, their five-year survival rate is less than 50 percent. Step by Step Haiti believes that a comprehensive formal diabetic foot program can reduce amputation rates by up to 80 percent. That’s how you save lives.
With the awarded funds, Step By Step Haiti will use 50 percent towards outreach and education materials for workshops. The Awesome Without Borders grant will also help cover costs for training materials used by Haitian physicians learning about diabetic wound care treatment, and for ongoing supplies of Ace Football Dressing. This particular type of bandage being the most effective wrap for diabetic patients as it keeps the wound clean, dry and free from infection while it is healing.