Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

How Cholera Reached Haiti & How It Can Be Addressed

The following is a statement from Dr. Louise Ivers, Senior Health and Policy Advisor for Partners in Health, during a Haiti Advocacy Working Group (HAWG) panel. The panel was part of HAWG’s “Haiti Advocacy Week,” a series of events aimed at getting Haiti more attention on Capitol Hill. This particular panel focuses on the cholera epidemic and how the US government can better address it. Dr. Louise Ivers March 6, 2015 Cholera is a gram negative bacterial infection that is spread by contaminated water or food, and to some degree between people in households where someone is sick with symptoms. Its an ancient disease that has long been eradicated in parts of the world where simple things like clean water, latrines, soap and basic medical care are available. In Haiti, the cholera epidemic began in October 2010 and spread with […]

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 […]

AIDS care rebounding in Haiti, though many lack shelter

By MICHAEL VASQUEZ and CAROL ROSENBERG, Miami Herald HIV/AIDS services in Haiti fared better than the country as a whole after the Jan. 12 earthquake, but the rise of tent cities presents challenges when it comes to prevention. PETER ANDREW BOSCH/MIAMI HERALD STAFF Shara Geralda, who is eleven days old and whose mother is HIV positive, stares at Dr. Desulme Michel-Ange, a pediatrician at Port-au-Prince’s General Hospital. Jean Rejane Geralda’s main problem isn’t receiving her AIDS medications — she hasn’t missed a dose — it’s putting some sort of roof over the head of her daughter, Shara. Geralda, like hundreds of thousands across post-earthquake Haiti, has been unable to obtain even a basic tent or tarpaulin from relief agencies. As the rainy season approaches, Geralda sleeps on an uncovered mattress with her newborn child in the back yard of her […]

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 […]

Push on to get prosthetics, rehab for thousands of Haitian amputees

By Sheryl Ubelacker Health Reporter (CP) They are known in Creole as “ko kobe,” or “crooked body,” those Haitians shamed and shunned for their twisted or missing limbs, eyes that do not see, brains that move too slow. But since January’s earthquake, thousands more have joined this band of the socially outcast disabled, the victims of crush injuries and raging infections that led to the amputation of an arm or leg. “There are so many amputees, I’ve never seen so many amputees,” says Ed Epp, executive director of Christian Blind Mission Canada, an organization that works to improve the lives of people with all types of disabilities in impoverished countries. Estimates of the number of children and adults with amputated limbs range from 2,000 to 4,000 and as high as 7,000, he says, quoting Handicapped International and Haitian government figures. […]

Reflections of Fidel: We Are Sending doctors, Not Soldiers

By Fidel Castro Translated by Granma International In my “Reflection” of January 14, two days after the disaster in Haiti that destroyed that neighboring sister nation, I wrote: “In the field of healthcare and other areas, Cuba � despite being a poor and blockaded country � has been cooperating with the Haitian people for many years. Around 400 doctors and healthcare experts are offering their services free of charge to the Haitian people. Our doctors are working every day in 227 of the country�s 337 communes. On the other hand, at least 400 young Haitians have trained as doctors in our homeland. They will now be working with the reinforcement brigade which traveled there yesterday to save lives in this critical situation. Thus, without any special effort being made, up to 1,000 doctors and healthcare experts can be mobilized, almost […]

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