Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Healthcare In Haiti: A Catch-22

By Andrew MacCalla, Huffington Post Since the devastating earthquake on January 12th, hospital services in Haiti have been provided to patients for free. No matter what your status or ability to pay, for three months after the earthquake you could feel certain that you could see a doctor and (hopefully acquire medications) for free. This was a fantastic service and was a great idea because it enabled the poor to have access to the healthcare services that they often go without. However, the free service in many facilities has now ended because these hospitals have only been guaranteed reimbursement for their services until April 12th. Many hospitals are now struggling with what to do next. If they begin charging people to see the doctor, the majority of Haitian people will not be able to afford it. Thus, the follow-up treatment […]

Health Workers in Haiti Fear Spike in Infectious Disease

By Jeff Swicord, Voice of America   Photo: VOA Photo J. Swicord. Dr. Megan Coffee examines a patient named Stanley who has tuberculosis at Port-au-Prince Hospital Port-au-Prince General Hospital is the largest hospital in Haiti.  Some of its buildings were damaged during the earthquake, but with the help of international medical organizations it has remained open.  On any given day, more than 300 patients arrive looking for care.  More than two months after the quake, doctors are seeing less of the crush injuries they saw right after the earthquake.  Now, as the rainy season begins, they’re concerned about infectious disease. Dr. Megan Coffee is an infectious disease specialist from California. She has spent the past two months volunteering at Port au Prince General Hospital. She’s concerned about the likely spread of infectious disease in Haiti.  She said the medical needs […]

Building A Lasting Healthcare System For Haiti

By Rebecca Harrington, Huffington Post The idea of universal healthcare, or at the very least, providing more accessible healthcare for the United States’ poorest families, is a hotly-debated topic across the country. However, in Haiti, where the average person makes just over $1 a day, expensive, inaccessible health care can often make the difference between life and death. Diseases that are easily treatable – and often preventable – like pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, can become a death sentence for Haitians, particularly for children. In a post-earthquake environment like Haiti’s, providing healthcare for the survivors has now become one of the top priorities. January’s earthquake killed more than 220,000 people and injured more than 300,000 Haitians, many of whom require ongoing healthcare to stay alive and lead productive lives. In the days immediately after the earthquake and in an effort to […]

Partners in Health Doctor to Speak in Bay Area

Phuoc Le, MD, MPH of Partners in Health to speak about work in Haiti since the earthquake on April 14 and 15, 2010. [gview file=””] [gview file=””]

Haiti: Diarrhea Threatens Infants and “We Are in Reaction Mode Instead of Planning Mode”

By Georgianne Nienaber, Huffington Post Image: Dr. Jim Wilson and Dr. Tiffany Keenan at work in the field What should the mainstream media do when the guy who identified the H1N1 outbreak in Mexico and was a key player and founder of ARGUS, a global detection and tracking system for the early detection of biological events, says Haiti is facing a serious gap in preparedness, early warning, and rapid response regarding pediatric diarrheal disease? If they are doing their homework, they talk to him and other epidemiologists and doctors in the field who say that the big NGOs and the United Nations are fudging the facts about their accomplishments. While in Haiti, we met Dr. Jim Wilson, who among other things, has tracked and identified SARS outbreaks, H1NI, Marburg hemorrhagic fever, and issued the first warning of H1N1 resurgence in […]

Mental Care in Haiti Goes From Bad to Horrid

By DEBORAH SONTAG, New York Times PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Inside this city’s earthquake-cracked psychiatric hospital, a schizophrenic man lay naked on a concrete floor, caked in dust. Other patients, padlocked in tiny concrete cells, clutched the bars and howled for attention. Feces clotted the gutter outside a ward where urine pooled under metal cots without mattresses. Walking through the dilapidated public hospital, Dr. Franklin Normil, the acting director, who has worked there for five months without pay, shook his head in despair. “I want you to bear witness,” he told a reporter. “Clearly, mental health has never been a priority in this country. We have the desire and the ability, but they do not give us the means to be professional and humane.” As disasters often do in poor countries, Haiti’s earthquake has exposed the extreme inadequacies of its mental […]

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