Dr. Rishi Modh’s IVUmed scholarship experience in Leogane, Haiti was made possible by the generous support of the Southeast Section of the American Urological Association. Dr. Modh was accompanied by mentor, Dr. Martin Dineen a practicing urologist in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Reflecting on his experience, Dr. Modh reported, “Once in Leogane, we stayed at the Residence Filariose, which is located 18 miles west of Port-au-Prince. Residence Filariose is a dorm that is in part managed through the University of Notre Dame. The Notre Dame Haiti program was founded in 1995, in collaboration with the CDC. The goal is to eliminate lymphatic filariasis by the year 2020. It is parasite transmitted via mosquitos. Luckily only a small percentage of patients develop debilitating scrotal edema and massive hydroceles. Our job was to help those who have developed the hydroceles. The surgical care we were providing was undoubtedly rewarding, but what truly makes the trip successful, is the knowledge that all the patients were screened and treated for the parasite prior to coming to the operating room. The true success is preventing, treating the disease, and attempting to eradicate it from Haiti.”
He continued, “Operating, working, and living in Haiti can truly be a life altering experience. The resources are so limited that everything that can be safely reused or saved is preserved with care. Patients are extremely grateful for care that they receive and much of the staff in the hospital are nursing students and volunteers who work all day with no expectation of pay. People around the hospital are grateful for the time and effort that you provide. Together we were able to complete over 50 cases in 5 days. One of the best surprises on the trip was that we were able to do a few pediatric cases as well, with two inguinal hernias and one undescended testicle. The local general surgeon was more than capable of completing the case, but he wanted our assistance to learn new techniques. Overall visiting Haiti was a rewarding and memorable experience that I would highly recommend to other residents.”