ieuseul Saint-Ange left his native Haiti in 2006. His destination: the United States. His goal: obtain skills that would help him serve people back home.
Nearly a decade later, he has been integral to the success of the radiology department at University Hospital in Mirebalais, in Haiti’s Central Plateau. Saint-Ange is the administrator for a computerized picture archiving and communication system—called PACS—that electronically stores medical images such as X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds and allows clinicians or radiologists to view them anywhere they have access to a computer. Although this technology is common in U.S. hospitals (as many as 91 percent use it, according to one survey), it is far more difficult to implement in resource-poor settings.
“[PACS] allows doctors and nurses to view radiology images very quickly wherever they are in the hospital,” Saint-Ange said. “They can make diagnoses based on what they are able to see in the images, and when a case is difficult for them to understand, they can ask for interpretation from a radiologist.”
University Hospital’s radiology department has been operational since the hospital opened in March 2013. Built by Haiti’s Ministry of Health and Partners In Health’s Haitian sister organization, Zanmi Lasante, the hospital houses the only CT scanner in a public facility in the country. Haitians who need a CT scan would otherwise have to pay about $300 U.S. in a private facility. This is out of reach for most people in Haiti, where the World Bank puts per capita income at about $800 a year.
The hospital also has X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, and dental X-ray capabilities, among other radiology equipment.