Haitian students get medical training in Dallas




Posted on June 4, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 4 at 10:16 PM

DALLAS — Luxon Philogene and Phanel Guerrier look through a microscope, but they see more than a specimen on a sliding glass.

They see a better future.

"It was big deal... a dream for me," Philogene said.

It is a dream that can save their families in Haiti.

The students came to the U.S. to take part in a medical training program offered at MediSend International in Dallas.

"I think this training will help me and help my country so much," Philogene said.

After the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, companies and organizations flooded the country with medical equipment. But in some areas, the sophisticated gear sits untouched.

Now — as the island nation struggles to recover from the quake — hurricane season is looming and cholera remains a major health problem.

"They've got rooms full of equipment that are broken or they have got equipment in their shop that is still in the box because no one knows where to install them," explained MediSend instructor Trevor Johnson.

His non-profit agency not only sends medical supplies to countries in need, but also gives local residents the skills to operate it.

"It's important for these gentlemen that are in the class now to come here and be able to learn those skills necessary so they can go back and really make an impact on their health care system," Johnson said.

And that's the difference Philogene and Guerrier want to make.

"I think when I get back to my country, I will be able to change something," Guerrier said. "I won't be disappoint them; I will do my best to help my country."

The MediSend Biomedical Repair Training Program includes students from Togo, Papua New Guinea and Nigeria. They graduate next Saturday and return to their home country hospitals to share their new knowledge.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com