Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

web3-gaurdian-angel-public-domain.jpgMy grandson surprised me a few weeks back.  We were drawing “spooky” drawing, when he suddenly turned and told me ghosts did not exist.  Well do I agree, so he does not have nightmares?  But then condemn his imagination to sterile literalism?  Is what exists, only what you can see, measure, touch?

It’s not true either.  Beyond sight there’s a world of spirits, unusual presences (which we give names like angels, demons, archangels).  And beyond them – God.  Kids see or sense more than we do.

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women-haiti-phoneRing, ring, ring – and the thread of your discussion goes ping!  We’re discussing a complex accounting issue with my Haitian colleagues, in three languages (English, French, Creole).  Then … a shrill jingle… the phone is picked up.  And poof! The thread of thought is broken.  On another day I was in a personal 1-to-1 conversation with a Haitian friend … a shrill jingle… the phone is picked up.  And poof! A sheepish smile “sorry, I won’t be a moment.”

If I’m honest – after many visits to Haiti, I still get annoyed.  For a people who value personal relations so highly, I wondered why is an incoming call given such priority over face to face conversation.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…)