ACF (Action Contre la Faim), www.actioncontrelafaim.org, an international non-profit organization, is renovating the sanitary structures (toilets and water supplies) at the Repheka Clinic of Carrefour Feuilles. It’s part of an effort in helping community health centers function in better sanitary conditions and thus protect staff and patients against Cholera and other water and food borne diseases. We are very grateful for this much needed help. However, a few weeks before the start of the work, a regretful event occurred: People stole bowls, lavabos, and timber from an ACF truck loaded with construction materials, right in front of the Clinic.
Yesterday we finally have the internet back, after four long days. But we still have no electricity. Friday night (August 24th), with the whooshing sounds of the winds and the blows of heavy rains, we barely had any sleep, though we were safe and dry inside our concrete walls and roofs. However, some families living in tents or makeshift dwellings were not as fortunate. They had to deal with flooding of their home, and even injuries or death. Our prayers are with them.
In Haiti, there’s so much to do…So many roads to build. So many children to educate. So many youth who need a future. So many jobs to create. So many hospitals to build. So many workers to train. So many houses to electrify. So many lands to irrigate. So much money to raise. So many plans to draw. So many people to feed. So many families to help. So many untimely deaths to prevent. So many politicians to restrain. So many thugs to put in jail. So many corrupt officials to remove. So many things to do…so many.
Labiche is a small town, 120 miles south of Port-au-Prince, and close to L’Asile. Usually it is a quiet little town, with people traveling mostly on mules. But last weekend, it was quite festive, with visitors coming from L’Asile, Les Cayes, and as far as Port-au-Prince to celebrate Saint Joachim—their patron saint. Scores of young people flooded the town on motorcycles and a few pickups. However, I, along with my wife, a niece of hers, and one of my cousins, went to Labiche not for Saint Joachim, but for a need-assessment.
That’s the stats for one of my patients seen today at the Repheka Clinic at Carrefour Feuilles. The children were born healthy, but died later on; the oldest one at the age of six-months, the second one at the age of two years, and the third one at the age of two days. She showed me the picture of her second child, clear-skinned just like her and looking healthy. What happened? What were the causes of death? She couldn’t tell; they (doctors or nurses) didn’t really tell her. Many times, physicians fail to tell patients why things happen to them or why they have to follow a specific treatment. At age 30, she’s pregnant now for the fourth time. This time, this kid better live. That’s what I told her, which brought a smile on her round face. I referred her to our OBGYN specialist, Dr. Macmy St Hilaire. Make sure you come on Wednesdays, that’s when he’s here. I told her. And when your child is born, you’ll see Dr. Wiguens Ilorme, our Petiatrician. But I’ll keep an eye on her, and in my prayers, to make sure that both mom and baby get the best possible care. Five years from now, I want her stats to be: Pregnancies: 5, Children: 2. What a blessing it would be!
From August 2011 to December 2011, our five (5) health agents at Pernier have administered a need-assessment survey to the population. The survey has 44 questions, covering resources on health education and facilities (clinics, health centers, and hospitals); prevalence of chronic diseases, such as Hypertension and Diabetes; infectious diseases, such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, Cholera, STDs, and HIV/AIDs; and patient satisfaction with the Repheka Clinic at Pernier.
It’s been a week since Carnaval des Fleurs (Carnival of Flowers) in Port-au-Prince, but this morning, at the Repheka Clinic at Carrefour Feuilles, I’ve seen two revelers victim of random acts of violence. One of them, a 20-year old man, was hit in the eye while breaking a fight. Fortunately, though the eye is still red and sore, he has no major injury. The second patient, a teenager, presents at the clinic with hearing loss and purulent discharge from the right ear. On the first night of Carnival, the 29th of July, he was slapped on the right side of the head by a man, for no apparent reason.
A 14-year-old boy was brought this morning by his mother to the Repheka Clinic at Pernier, with fever, headache, and weakness as chief complaints. The mother was quick to say that the boy is mentally ill. She said that he ran away from home for two months, and that while on the street he had diarrhea and vomiting for two weeks and lived literally in a car. She seemed very concerned about not just the boy’s sickness, but his craving for the street. She was probably asking why his boy refused to stay home, like a normal child. She’d certainly welcome any help from a therapist or social worker to make his boy stay put.