In Haiti, you’re blessed if you never have any serious disease or any condition that requires CT scan or MRI, or sophisticated surgeries. You’re blessed if you don’t have any serious neurological disease—we have only two or three neurologists in the entire country. You’re blessed if you don’t have any cancer, since chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and even surgery are most of the time unavailable and expensive. Patients with such diseases or conditions end up broke, have to travel far, even outside the country, and many times have to suffer in silence until death ends their misery.
I've talked to a young man tonight, right before Sunday night service. After a car accident in 2002, he had already seven surgeries, including three cystostomies, to correct his inability to urinate normally. At one point he carried a Foley catheter (a tube that helps you pee) for almost a year. Now, after so many surgeries, he was supposed to be healed, but he’s been experiencing dribbling (urinating drops of urine), straining (pushing hard to pee), incontinence (involuntary leakage of urine), and low back pain. At his last visit at the Urology service at the General Hospital, he was told that he needs another surgery, to be performed by an Urologist coming from the States. He is currently in a confused and frustrated state, not knowing what to expect from all these surgeries and how to pay for the lab tests and x-rays preceding the procedure.
This young patient, as many others, needs all our support, both spiritual and material. I’ll see him tomorrow at the Pernier Clinic to help him with his current symptoms and counsel him on the proposed surgery. I may have to offer financial support, at least for tomorrow’s lab tests and for the x-rays preceding his eventual surgery. I also plan to present his case to some caring groups who may be able to do more.
Patients with serious disease or conditions got it hard in Haiti, a country that offers no safety net for the most challenged. At the Repheka Clinics, we focus on basic primary care, but we can’t stay indifferent before those cases. We thus do what we can, whether providing words of encouragement or easing the financial burden or bringing such cases to people or groups with more resources. What can you do, yourselves, who have just read this post? You can support our work so that we can continue to help the people of Haiti. To do so, go to our website, www.repheka.org and click on the Donate Now button.