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Reducing Preterm Mortality Rate at CMB: The Impact of Specialized and Resource-appropriate Care

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Alionso Avril is a respiratory therapist who lives with his wife and children in Pennsylvania. Sixteen years ago he moved to the U.S. from Haiti and had never been back until this past week. When he first heard about CMB from Dr. Jack Joseph, Alionso knew he wanted to support.

Dr. Jack Joseph and Alionso Avril

The two have been working together for about a decade at Ephrata Community Hospital. During this same time Dr. Joseph has made yearly visits to CMB during which he assesses the current needs and how best to help make our work easier. Over the years he has donated equipment, including a phototherapy unit and an adult CPAP machine. When he talked to Alionso about the need for pediatric CPAP, Alionso was more than happy to offer his expertise.

The leading cause of death in premature babies is respiratory distress syndrome. Treatment options are very limited here. According to World Data Atlas, in 2019 for every 1000 live births in Haiti, 25.3 of them resulted in death. Introducing bubble CPAP at CMB is a big step toward improving the survival rate of preterm infants.

Alionso not only raised funds to buy several bubble CPAP devices and two portable oxygen concentrators, but also trained part of the medical staff to use ventilators. The sessions were very lively and engaging, especially since he was able to interact in the mother tongue. He plans on volunteering regularly with us and cannot wait to be back. Alionso Avril says of his recent experience, “I have done a lot of good things in my life, but this is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

He wants to thank Dr. Joseph for his inspiration and his co-workers Roxanne and Jennifer for all their help and support. We thank God for partnership opportunities like these. Find here how you can take part in transforming the lives of families here in Northwest Haiti.


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