Dr. Jon LaPook visits one of Haiti’s medical clinics nearly three months after the country’s devastating earthquake:
Small Miracles In Haiti
Seven days ago, at a mission in the north of Haiti, I watched a nurse remove oxygen from a premature baby boy in order to give it to a woman in labor. The heartbeat of the baby who was about to be delivered had dropped dangerously low and there was only one working oxygen machine.
Perhaps the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck or there was some other problem. A Caesarian section — which can quickly and safely deliver a baby who is in trouble — was not an option. The public hospital was at least an hour’s drive away over bumpy roads.
These kinds of cruel triage decisions are commonplace in Haiti and existed long before the earthquake struck on January 12th. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere has never had an effective public health system. Thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — by some counts more than 10,000 — are trying to plug holes in the ship. What’s really needed is a new ship. Read more »