2014 Humanitarian Hero Marie Yvelyne Pierre
DUTY STATION: Haiti
POSITION: Nurse's Assistant
“I saved the life of a three-year-old boy. Everyone was desperate because he had lost consciousness; even his parents had started losing hope. He was so dehydrated that we couldn’t find a vein to give him IV treatment.”
“I know I can’t change people’s living conditions, but even providing moral support can make a big difference,” said Marie, when explaining why she became a humanitarian aid worker.
Marie has been a Nurse’s Assistant for the last four years, working to help fight cholera. As well as caring for patients, she helps detect the possible source of contamination and carries out decontamination to prevent the spread of the disease.
Communicating with affected people is also part of her job. She carries out mass sensitization on hygiene and cholera prevention in schools, churches and public markets, as well as through door-to-door visits. She also trains health personnel in affected areas.
Marie especially enjoys caring for patients with cholera, providing rehydration treatment. She also finds epidemiological surveillance very rewarding. The most challenging aspect of her work is investigating the source of contamination in a community.
“I had an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my career,” said Marie. “I saved the life of a three-year-old boy. Everyone was desperate because he had lost consciousness; even his parents had started losing hope. He was so dehydrated that we couldn’t find a vein to give him IV treatment. Thank God, we finally managed to find one in his head. When I visited him five hours later, he was conscious and smiled at me. I will never forget that smile.”