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Ti Kay, Inc. is a U.S. based medical non-profit organization serving Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that works to support the Haitian public health system to treat, and hence, prevent the spread of tuberculosis (TB). Based in Port-au-Prince, Ti Kay supplements the work of public health by providing volunteer on-site medical providers and additional nursing care, as well as ensuring that all care is free to both inpatients and outpatients. One of the goals of Ti Kay is to build and strengthen systems in a sustainable way by working within the Haitian public health care system, thereby strengthening Haiti’s public health system overall.
Ti Kay's primary focus is tuberculosis treatment. After the 2010 earthquake, there were patients who needed to be hospitalized with TB and HIV and had no where to go. The head nurse of an outpatient TB program and Megan Coffee, MD/PhD, who is from the New York area, established an inpatient hospital program for the care of patients with TB and HIV as well as an outpatient treatment program to provide effective follow-up care and ensure the successful completion of treatment.
25% of the total patient population (both inpatients and outpatients) at the clinic are coinfected with HIV. On average, four patients a week are newly diagnosed and enrolled in the HIV clinic. Additionally, 85% of inpatients, the sickest among our patient population, are HIV positive. One third of inpatients would have been hospitalized in an intensive care unit in the US.
Therefore, specialized HIV care, medication compliance and support are of the utmost importance to our patient population. To this end, Ti Kay has developed a comprehensive support program that aims to address the unique needs of our TB patients, and those that are coninfected with HIV. This multifaceted support program helps ensure that patients receive holistic health care. This adherence program, employing Haitian staff, some of whom are former patients, includes counseling and follow-up care, medication to treat opportunistic infections, and free transportation to and from appointments.
There is a notable difference between Ti Kay and other internationally established and funded health programs. The clinic depends on the work of 30 Haitians, many of whom are former patients. International personnel are not paid for their work, and demonstrate a commitment to this project by their decision to live and work locally in Haiti, often under austere conditions. International volunteers provide their own funding, live simply - often in tents - and take public transport.
We are able to establish a level of trust with our patients, as these living conditions enable us to learn Haitian Kreyol and participate closely within the Haitian community. This commitment ensures that the maximum amount of resources are directed to the people who need them immediately and that funds are used as they should be.