Port au Prince

Port au Prince
"He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:2

Monday, August 16, 2010

Haiti is healing

Today was our first big day of action and I was eagerly awaiting our trip to the hospital. I was thinking about what kind of patients we would see, and Grace and I had been discussing how we could approach some possible cases. Most importantly, we were trying to figure out how we, as two Western trained physicians, could possibly contribute to a resource-poor country. Today, I found out that common things are still common around the world – ear infections, asthma, and allergic rhinitis for me in pediatrics, and hypertension, back pain and joint pain for adults. However, there are still local specificities and nuances particular to Haiti – tropical infections such as malaria, typhoid, and parasites, as well as the psychological trauma after the earthquake. Working with two Haitian doctors, I was able to sense of their dedication, eagerness, and determination in obtaining their education and training in order to best treat their patients. The hospital where we are working at is newly opened and still growing, serving the surrounding community. The staff is well trained, and there are all the necessary departments – radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, inpatient, and even medical records (!) – to ensure a successful beginning. I’m sure there are some very challenged hospitals here, but a well planned, committed, and systematic hospital can be set up and run well by Haitians. There are resources, of course, that other countries can contribute – training, education, supplies, support – but at the core it needs to from the Haitian heart itself. It strikes me that what Haiti needs most is not for us to heal Haiti, but Haiti to heal itself…we can help, of course! But, I was impressed by the Haitians, their spirit and perseverance, their resiliency and grace. Most importantly, the little patients I met today were so well-mannered, dressed in their Sunday best, sweet and shy that it gives me hope of Haiti’s future secure in their hands, serving their own country and people. When we left the hospital, I saw children playing in a dusty playground, people selling fruit, adults mingling, cars going by – life goes on, and Haiti is moving on.

– Joyce

No comments:

Post a Comment