He is one of those daring young people who operate in the shadows, out of the ground smart initiatives that can serve their communities. They are not numerous as the desire to desert Haiti has become invasive, even contagious, for some time. Wilkens Gilbert, the youngest of eight siblings, is the founder of a medical clinic in Delmas 60. In this district, the young surgeon, trained at Lumière University, did not break his head to detect the need, the opportunity and finally planting this project, one among others that animate him.
The young man has always wanted to undertake and set up a philanthropic enterprise that does not go beyond the scope of his profession. The Neighborhood Medical & Surgical Center (NMSC), created four years ago, serves more than 1,300 patients a month with a team of six doctors and five nurses, among others. In an effort to move health care to other populations in the metropolitan area, the health center has a mobile team patrolling the neighborhoods of Croix-des-Bouquets and Pétion-Ville every day.
Nothing was easy for Wilkens Gilbert. Saying that he is a fighter is a euphemism. Wilkens, a graduate in Health Services Management through a partnership between the University of Montreal and the FMP (Faculty of Medecine and Pharmacy), had to fight to be a doctor, reconcile odd jobs and studies to make ends meet and build his destiny. On the shores of his career, he, whose childhood was not easy, was even a police officer for years. But that did not circumvent his goal: to become a doctor and to serve the greatest number.
Passed into the ranks of the National Police of Haiti (PNH), which he was one of the winners of the 10th promotion in May 1999, Wilkens Gilbert, who has dried in exchange for a year of schooling at the national high school in Pétion-Ville, has never lost of view the thread of his ambitions. He was a policeman very young. A year later, he passed his baccalaureate. And then began the fight of a lifetime, of his life: to be both policeman and student. The one who has always been charmed by his older sister, a nurse, who did not pray to help the neighbors when they fell ill, had to make a choice shortly afterwards, as conciliation proved impossible.
He had to submit his resignation to the police to devote himself entirely to his medical studies at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Université Lumière. “It was not easy because falling a beautiful morning under the total economic dependence of parents after a certain autonomy was difficult,” says Wikens, without an ounce of regret. With the financial support of an American foreign sponsor, Dr. Tom Gorin, he managed to finish the course.
The young doctor, who emphasizes that “to operate a hospital properly is a matter of managerial and non-medical discipline and that all too often our hospitals are run by non-managerial doctors”, made his weapons at the hospital Justinien of Cap-Haitien, has rolled its hump for many other institutions of the place, well before creating NMSC in 2014. “Health is a fundamental right that is flouted in Haiti. The NMSC was launched to help remedy this situation, “said Wilkens, recalling his health center has since benefited from its support of” Medical Aid To Haiti “(MATH) that allows them to cover certain expenses.
Wilkens Gilbert, who has already acquired a lot at Bellevue La Montagne (4th communal section of Pétion-Ville) for the construction of a level 2 hospital, has eyes wide open to the future. He would like to see a country where access to health care is no longer a luxury. It encourages other young people to undertake similar initiatives. A surgeon who completed his training at Brooklyn Hospital Center thanks to the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad (AMHE), he is inspired, among others, by Dr. Emile Damas, Dr. Rodolphe Barella and Jean B. Gracia Coq.
“I have fully embarked, body and soul in this project because I am convinced that positive things are still possible for young fighters in this country. We need to turn the tide and plan a better future for ourselves and next generations, “says Wilkens, determinedly, son of peasants. Wilkens, unlike others, refuses to go to other countries, other warmer places, despite their offers. He wants to move forward, break through all imaginable limits and remain open to any partnership.