Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Right now, I'm in Hinche. Rahab is running errands, changing money, dropping off money to families, buying things to take to Port au Prince. I've popped into the local chuch to continue typing.

From the orphanage, we went across town to the hospital. It was late afternoon and anne and Patrick still had 4 large suitcases of medical supplies to leave. The hospital was surreal. As the darkness closed in, the dimly lite wards took on a strange glow. In one ward, family members were trying to help a patient move in his bed. In another, a woman was in labor. She was in her street clothes and laying on a bed. I couldn't help but think of the sterile environment I experienced last summer at Barnes. Clean sheets, equipment in sterile wrap. None of that here. There is no food service either. If you don't have family to bring you something, you are out of luck.

I saw amputees from the capital. Ward after ward was full and whereas in an American hospital there are nurses and doctors running everywhere, there were few here,

Patrick who is an orthopedic surgeon in Missouri asked about the operating rooms. He was told there is one. This hospital serves a normal population area of over100,000. Add the people from the capital.... He asked what if there is more than one person needing an operation, the reponse was the other(s) will probably die.

Back in thomassique the clinic there serves over 60,000. Peter said that when he leave for church every morning at 5 there are already 50 to 75 people waiting to be seen. They walk from surronding villages which are 6,7,8 miles away.

He told me last year a man walked 5 hours to see a doctor after he was struck by lightening. He had waited to long to go for help and by the time he arrived the gangrene had set in and amputation was all they could do.

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