Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Real World Problems

   Haiti's healthcare situation is worse then it's been in a longtime. The largest state run hospitals in Port au Prince as well as at least half a dozen other government hospitals around the country have been on strike for several weeks. Last week a pregnant woman died in the street outside the gate of the general hospital in downtown Port au Prince because she was unable to find care inside.  The doctors and nurses are holding out for higher pay and asking to be provided with basic supplies and better working conditions. I can hardly blame them. There is nothing more frustrating for a healthcare worker then to know what care needs to be given to a patient yet be unable to provide it because of the lack of equipment or supplies. This situation has further complicated the already difficult process of transferring emergency cases out to a higher lever of care since this means that the hospitals run by international organizations are now even more overrun and beyond capacity then before due to the unavailability of the public hospitals.
  Yesterday afternoon an extremely hypertensive and preeclamptic woman in labor arrived at the clinic. We had been unsuccessful in getting her blood pressure sufficiently under control and had advised her a week before to go out to a hospital in Fond des Blancs that has lodging for high risk pregnancies and complete OB capabilities because of her preeclampsia. Unfortunately that didn't happen and now we had to get her somewhere where they would be able to do a C-section. Thanks to the strike Ti Goave hospital wasn't an option. Because of the excess rain throughout the last month sections of the road between here and port are covered in mud and traffic is absolutely horrible. Mali, Kayla and I ended up taking her the whole way to St Boniface hospital in Fond des Blancs. With the current rutted up roads this is a 3+ hour trip. Only about 45 minutes of that is on a paved road surface.  Thankfully we made it without incident and without the baby coming and transferred her into the hands of the capable hospital staff there.

Fre Daniel doing devotions in the morning before clinic opens
  With all the instability and problems this country is facing, it is a tremendous blessing that, thanks to all the people who help support the mission here, local  folks  can rely on our clinic to be there and provide what care we can give. Sometimes it can feel like  we aren't capable of doing very much here but the simple fact that we will do whatever we can do no matter what or when the problem is brought in has been an incredible witness to the people of this country.
  We Americans like to criticize our own healthcare system, which no doubt does have its own set of very real problems. Today, however, I would like you to take a moment to thank God for  your hospitals as well as your government for all the good that they do. There is a huge amount we take for granted.  Please keep Haiti in your prayers as well. The current interim government has not been paying its bills and we very well could be heading towards a major fuel and consumable goods shortage.
   The following are some pics of a boy who was brought in with some major burns last week. Thanks to the care of our dedicated nurses he is quickly starting to heal.
This fellow had hot cooking water spilled on him

Bandaging up this brave little guy

All ready to go!