MEDICAL ACCESS in Northwest Haiti is a HUGE ISSUE right now and is weighing heavy on our hearts. The clinic we go to support in Lacoma closed on 4/25/13. Our friend/hero, Madam Anatole, the nurse that worked 24/7 for 3 years as the sole medical provider to the community is gone...... after 10 months without pay she and the other 4 people that ran the clinic had their jobs terminated and the clinic is now closed until further notice. I can't say exactly how much it costs to run a clinic like that, but I will say that it is likely less than 2000 a month, including supplies. Heartbreaking.
We try not to take too many pictures depicting the poverty and lack of dignity that Haitians in this community are faced with every day as this sort of exploitation may be interesting to people but it doesn't help anyone.
Would it help the baby with partial thickness burns all over her abdomen, butt, thighs and groin heal if we posted a picture? NO it would not.
Would it be helpful for people to see our patient vomiting worms, eating mud cakes, experiencing pneumonia from untreated HIV infections? I don't think so.
Would it help us raise money? Probably. Ah, ethics.... what to do.
The hardest part of this trip is being home and feeling like we should still be there helping the community that has NOTHING. Don't think about it so much, but we do. And try to never compare things but, again, it is most difficult.
Reentry has always been the hardest part of each journey to Haiti.
The shock of poverty and suffering is somehow easier to digest than the shock of excess and entitlement.
The complaints, attitudes, wants/needs of those with SO MUCH wears on you and causes one to crawl back into invisible armor. Working at such a privileged facility in such a privileged community just isn't comfortable. The disposable supplies, wasted medications, unbelievable priorities and over-the-top incomes encountered daily leave us wondering about the big picture. As dokte Mark said after he returned this last trip- "it is 2013 not 1913!" People of all ages are dying of easily treated illnesses and starvation in Haiti while patients here don't blink an eye at shelling out $7,000 so their breasts fit some idea of perfection.
"Science has revolutionized medicine- but there was no revolution and no plan for ensuring equal access. Excellence without equity is what you now inherit. It’s the chief human rights problem of twenty-first-century medicine, and only when we’re all under general anesthesia of the soul will we be able to ignore it as the century marches on. " Paul Farmer (from Partners in Health- the organization that just built the gigantic solar hospital in Mirebalais- a city about 12 hours from Lacoma)
Access to medical care and supplies is at an all time low in NorthWest Haiti.
We are trying to help---- please stay with us and help us help Haiti!
|Start of the day- the 2 of us saw 100 patients this day!!!|
|Crazy beautiful Nord Ouest!|
|Peace Love Haiti spring team #1!!!|