The Canadian Forces' (CF) deployable hospital, 1 Canadian Field Hospital, was deployed to Haiti after an earthquake that caused massive devastation. Two surgical teams performed 167 operations over a 39-day period starting 17 days after the index event. Most operations were unrelated to the earthquake. Replacing or supplementing the destroyed local surgical capacity for a brief period after a disaster can be a valuable contribution to relief efforts. For future humanitarian operations/disaster response missions, the CF will study the feasibility of accelerating the deployment of surgical capabilities.
Increasing rates of HIV infection have been found in migrant farmworkers in the USA over the past decade. By virtue of lifestyle, language and culture, these workers are not exposed to the typical media HIV prevention messages. To determine their level of knowledge about this disease for use in prevention messages targeted specifically to this population, five gender specific focus groups were conducted among Haitian, Jamaican and African-American migrant farmworkers in upstate New York. The focus groups revealed that the health belief system of these Afro-American migrant workers primarily reflects that of their indigenous culture. This impacts their interpretation and utilization of risk aversive behaviours. The data also suggest that the culture of migrancy itself affects the extent of risky behaviours practised, but further studies are needed to examine this phenomenon.
In Montreal the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was seen in eight Haitian immigrants and one Caucasian woman who had lived with Haitian immigrants for 3 years before the onset of her illness. AIDS was characterized by opportunistic infections alone in seven patients, by opportunistic infection and Kaposi's sarcoma in one patient and by chronic generalized lymphadenopathy in one patient. Five of the patients had presented with Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections 1 to 12 months before the onset of opportunistic infections. All nine patients were found to have recall anergy by skin testing for delayed hypersensitivity. Enumeration of the lymphocyte subpopulations in three patients showed a marked inversion of the ratio of helper to suppressor T lymphocytes. Six of the patients died as a result of the opportunistic infections; autopsies showed no recognizable causes of immunodeficiency. Thus, there is in Montreal a third clustering of AIDS cases in North America related to Haitian immigrants.
The objectives of the study were to determine knowledge levels regarding AIDS and its modes of transmission, and to describe sexual behaviour of Montrealers of Haitian origin. A serial cross-sectional study was conducted in three phases between 1987 and 1990. A questionnaire was administered in a face-to-face interview with the exception of the section concerning sexual practices which was self-administered for those respondents who were literate in French. The study was conducted among 775 men and women residing in the metropolitan Montreal region. These individuals were aged 15 to 39, were born in Haiti or had at least one parent born in Haiti. Knowledge levels were high except for misconceptions about HIV transmission through casual contact and mosquito bites. There was a significant association between high risk sexual behaviour and marital status with the odds of having had multiple partners significantly raised for previously married individuals (OR = 5.96, 95% CI = 3.09; 11.50). High risk behaviour was also associated with being under 25 years of age (OR = 2.83, 95% CI = 1.40; 5.74), knowing someone with HIV/AIDS (OR = 1.88, 95% CI = 1.05; 3.37), being male (OR = 6.81, 95% CI = 3.99; 11.60) and earlier year of interview. Montrealers of Haitian origin, with their specific AIDS-related socio-cultural characteristics, constitute a community which is intermediate between their country of origin, Haiti, and their host country, Canada.
The decision to donate organs and tissues has the potential to save and improve the quality of life of the transplant recipient. Previous studies suggest lack of information, fears, and prejudices have prevented some cultural minorities from participating in organ and tissue donation (OTD). There is scarce information about the views of those who might be approached for potential donation in the Haitian community. In fact, Haitians are the largest Black ethno-cultural community in Montreal and are at higher risk for needing a kidney transplant (Desilets & Sodjinou, 2006).
To learn what Haitians know and believe about OTD in order to enable registered nurses to develop culturally appropriate approaches and interventions.
A qualitative descriptive design was used to explore the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes toward OTD among the adult Haitian population in the Montreal area. Focus groups were held with 24 members of the Haitian community and moderated by Haitian registered nurses who spoke French and Creole.
Group interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for themes. Adult participants represented younger and older members of the community. They were from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Knowledge about donation was influenced by the media, personal beliefs and experience, and level of trust in the health care system. Participants' recommendations on how to address OTD issues within the Haitian community were shaped by beliefs about wholeness, perceived need for donation and key persons who could influence decision-making behaviour.
The level of distrust with the health care system and the study consent process used with participants might have affected the degree of participation and disclosure in discussions.
A matched-pair, cross-sectional study of lymphocyte and serological parameters associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in 189 randomly chosen, ostensibly healthy adult Haitian immigrants residing in Montreal matched for sex, age (within 5 years), and neighborhood of residence to 189 non-Haitian (Caucasian) controls was done in 1983-1984. Three years later (1986-1987), 41 of the Haitian study subjects and 83 of the non-Haitian controls participated in a follow-up study centered on lymphocyte parameters. A significantly greater number of Haitians than controls had produced antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii. In addition, a greater percentage of the Haitians than the controls were also producing antibodies to two other opportunistic pathogens frequently encountered in AIDS, cytomegalovirus and hepatitis B virus, implying that the Haitians in general had had greater exposure to a variety of infectious agents than had the controls. A few study participants were producing antibodies against two viruses that are related to the human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1), the human T-cell lymphotropic viruses I and II (HTLV-I and -II). Two Haitians and one control were producing antibodies against HTLV-I. One study subject and four controls were HTLV-II seropositive. The most interesting and surprising finding was that four (2.1%) of the Haitian study subjects but none of the controls were seropositive for HIV-1. These individuals, two of whom were women and two men, were asymptomatic. Although their individual lymphocyte parameter values fell in the normal range, as a group they had statistically significantly lower average values for their lymphocyte parameters than did the HIV-seronegative Haitian study objects.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)