Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

2131adf2-945a-453b-aa21-94eb453b7052.jpgIn light of the recent Haiti aid scandal and on-going questions over international aid, the Medical Director of Hospital HCBH, Dr Paul Toussaint, has written the below reflection.  It’s a longer blog than normal, but a very insightful reflection from the perspective of one of Haiti’s leading Paediatricians:

Charities work in many sectors: Water, sanitation, health education, human rights etc. But why so many organisations?  What are the results?  We are asking these questions perplexed.



Cinderella Service

Posted: 25 March 2017 in Haiti
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WanHCBH Chaplains.JPGt a hospital service that can: help the cure; needs no equipment, nor medicines, needs no electricity or internet, and runs on very little money?  Well I’m standing with them in the picture.  These are the Hospital Chaplains. A Cinderella service.

The Poor Relation
Here am I, in Hôpital Convention Baptiste d’Haiti, in Cap-Haïtien. Standing alongside the chaplains.  Pastor Yousvel (one of the senior administrators), Pastor Sadak, and Pastor Samuel (in the wheelchair- not a fashion statement).  Chaplaincy tends to be seen as a poor relation.


Building A Nation

Posted: 30 January 2017 in Haiti
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hcbh-radiologyEveryone likes a party.  And Hospital Convention Baptist d’Haiti (HCBH) has just had one, 10 years old.  Sure – not as old as Barts in London (founded 1123).  But a milestone for the crippled who can now walk, or the mothers laughing at the crib, instead of crying at the grave.  I work to help the Hospital management, and I wish them well at this special  time.


Into The Disaster Zone

Posted: 7 October 2016 in Haiti
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3ac59468-2557-4de0-84e8-a2784b651707The situation in Haiti continues to reveal the harrowing impact of Hurricane Michael – gone but not forgotten.  The death toll in Haiti goes up and up as they pull bodies out of the rubble and the sea. Watch the BBC footage. First responders into SW Haiti have found…’80% of homes damaged and crops destroyed.’  Tragically, there are still many locations still out of communication and still with no access.  Including NW Haiti, not too far from our hospital.


We Welcome Emergencies

Posted: 17 September 2016 in Haiti
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Why welcome emergencies?  Car accident victims, burst appendices, food poisoning, premature births, etc?  Blood and guts with accompanied terrors, pain fear?  Because that is where much hospital care starts and we exist for this. (And more besides.)

Back in Haiti.  L’Hopital Convention Baptiste d’Haiti Emergency Department building was finished during my last visit, but a medical service is far far more than just a building.  It needs adequate equipment and trained staff.  And now this gear has arrived by container from HHA in UK, the Hospital have opened for business.  In the first month: road accidents, emergency surgeries, drowning, other traumas, animal bites, domestic accidents, burns etc.  People getting swift, effective treatment – rather than going further afield, or to expensive private clinic.  Or resorting to DIY.

Of course, before we had the Emergency Department, we did this work anyway.  But now HCBH staff manage to do the triage faster and take better care of our patients.   When Radiology Department is open and fully function, then the service will be in top gear. (more…)


Close togetherness – getting about in Haiti

When I work in a place like Haiti, I met people who are quite different.   Duh – no surprise then.  Ah – but that included the expats.  There’s not just the obvious Expat-Haitian difference.  But also sundry Brits, Americans of various parts, Swiss, Germans.  Kids (defn: people younger than my kids), grandfathers (the guy I meet in the mirror) , long marrieds, singles, etc. Bizarrely, understanding is more accident prone where I share a common mother tongue but where the backgrounds are different.  Why? Because I think I understand, but I understand less than I think.  Where no offense is meant, offence is unwittingly served – hot and pungent.



Drink. Drink! Drink?

Posted: 27 May 2016 in Cultural, Haiti
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Moonshine works, Milot, Haiti. (c) JC Coutausse

When I left Haiti, I was given a gift.  A kind appreciation for the work I had done this trip.  What did I fancy?  Coffee?  Haitian coffee is good.    Rum. Ah, Haitian rum is good too.  I always bring back coffee and rum.  Interestingly, neither alcohol or cannabis are big parts of life here in Haiti.  Though the land is most suitable for cannabis, growing, consumption is rare.  Far more likely to be found amongst the expats than the nationals.  As for alcohol, the national beer “Prestige”, a light lager is OK and the varieties of rum can be of very good quality indeed.  Out in the country Kleren, the local spirit is distilled from sugar cane in road side stills.  Like I saw in up country Uganda.  Like Uganda, these produce cheap spirits and can vary wildly.  Headaches, liver problems, even blindness, served by the glass.  This can be all yours sir after a few 6p a glass servings.  It can be good, and I bought 4 small bottles of a cane and (more…)