Anemia is very common in Haiti. About half of the rural children under the age of 2 years have a hemoglobin less than 100 g/L.
When I worked for this hospital in 2010, the medical care provided, including medications, was free. According to the documents I received today, the hospital is "no longer able to provide care completely free of charge." Patients are "expected to pay" for initial assessments, lab tests, and medications.
In the Dubois book I reviewed here, Haiti - the Aftershocks of History, I learned that Duvalier, the infamous Papa Doc, graduated and worked as a medical doctor before he became a much-reviled tyrant and dictator. As a medical doctor, he worked on a Yaws eradication program in Haiti. Go figure.
Routine immunizations for tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and measles have been "available" in Haiti since 1977, rubella since 2009, and Hib and Hepatitis since June of 2012. In January 2013, pneumococcus and rotavirus are scheduled to be added to the schedule.
Lymphatic filariasis is a mosquito-spread worm infection that is present in 80% of the regions of the country, which really means in every region of the country.
As a young boy, the only things I recollect about TB were Christmas seals, which supported the care of individuals with the disease, and Sanatoriums, where those infected were isolated from the communities at large.
Almost a third of a century has passed since AIDS secured a top spot as one of the medical scourges of the twentieth century. In Canada, a diagnosis of HIV is no longer a death sentence and some, I suspect, presume the disease is something like polio, an historical infection that we no longer need to be concerned about. In Haiti this is certainly not the case. Even in Canada the infection continues to be a health care challenge.
Cholera is as old as recorded time but amazingly, this infection is new to Haiti!
After the devastating earthquake in January 2010, help from all around the world poured into Haiti.
The spontaneous and enormous outpouring of international aid at that time raised a hope that notwithstanding the abject misery and the rubble, that perhaps a new and better Haiti would emerge.
For two weeks in March of 2010 I was part of a physical medicine rehabilitation team in Haiti. Team Canada Healing Hands for Haiti (TCHHH) is a Haitian-approved Non Governmental Organization (NGO) and a registered charitable organization in Canada.