Limbé: A Model Clinic

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALocated in a small town about half an hour west of Cap Haitian, Limbé Clinic serves as a community health center that coordinates a multitude of programs, from maternity health to voluntary counseling and HIV testing.  For many years, with support from MFK and the World Bank, it has also run an outpatient program to treat children for acute malnutrition with Medika Mamba.

Madam Thoby runs the show with outstanding success rates, part of which can be attributed to how seriously she takes the program protocols. Following the end of the grant with MFK, Limbé is now able to keep this program up and running through the generosity of an individual donor. Dr. Alvarez visited the clinic earlier this year and chose to channel his generosity into supplying the clinic with life-saving Medika Mamba, after seeing firsthand the importance of this program for the community and the quick turnaround rates of children who enter the program with little hope and leave with much more, their health. Madam Thoby recently told the story of a young boy named Mèrèlus. He entered the program with severe Kwashiorkor, an acute form of childhood protein-energy malnutrition. When the mother returned, two weeks later, Madam Thoby was confused since it appeared she hadn’t brought her son with her to the clinic. Replacing confusion with joy, the mother explained that the young boy sitting next to her was Mèrèlus. “We’re still seeing miracles,” she said with a huge smile and a face that exudes dedication. 

She went on to explain that often children with severe Kwashiorkor complete the treatment in less than the full 12 weeks allowed by the protocols. They’ve typically turned around by 10 weeks, which demonstrates that mothers are listening, learning, and adhering to Madam Thoby’s instructions for effective use. Prior to using the Medika Mamba, vitamin enriched milk with much lower success rates and higher associated costs was used. Now, with their community based care approach paired with the gold standard treatment for malnutrition, hope has been restored in the nurses, the mothers, and in the children. Madam Thoby explained that when the kids come into the clinic and see the sachets of Medika Mamba, they cry. They want the Mamba.

Madam Thoby works alongside Madam Yva; the two women combined have clocked up sixty years at the Limbé Clinic. Together they have seen many changes, developed strong ties with the other existing hospital in the area, and they continue to improve the livelihoods of many with strong educational programs and low cost life saving services.