In July, I’ve written about a young man with urinary condition. After seven surgeries, he was still unable to control his micturition. I’ve seen him again this week. He was scheduled to have his eighth surgical intervention, but at the last minute the American urologists decide not to do the surgery and refer him to a team of Haitian surgeons. This unforeseen change has sent him into an instant state of despair. Now he doesn’t know what to do. He’s not certain that the surgeons can succeed in his surgery. But he has no other option.
Here, in Haiti, it’s not a unique occurrence. Thousands of patients with complicated diseases or conditions face the same problem. The system, with a few exceptions if you can get to Cange or Pignon, is not fit to handle complex treatments, surgeries, or procedures. Resources, both human and physical, are scarce. Laboratories are barely equipped. Patients are being treated with no clear-cut diagnoses. Therefore, demanding surgeries and procedures are delayed or just put aside, and patients with challenging diseases and conditions are neglected or just ignored.
So, what should we do? That’s the million-dollar question. How can we modernize healthcare in Haiti, while making it affordable and accessible to all? We need willpower and resources. Willpower from a critical mass of influent Haitians and friends of Haiti, and resources from Haitians (through taxes) and friends of Haiti (through genuine assistance). We can do this, if we care enough for the people of Haiti.
My young friend, tonight, has still no control over his bladder. Unwillingly, he’ll wet his bed or his underwear before dawn. Then he’ll wake up tomorrow, get out of bed, dress up, and take on the streets, knocking on doors, asking for advice, looking for help, and searching for answers. Many call that resiliency. I’d call that faith. Only faith can sustain you as you’re stuck in the bottom of the pit. Only faith can make you look for light even in the midst of darkness. Only faith, and in my friend’s case, only Jesus.