“She continues to trust God that one day she will see!” In her 60’s she came to our medical clinic with one request. “I’m blind.” Rachelle wrote the information on a piece of paper, prayed for her, and walked her to a waiting medical staff. Cataracts, simple to cure here in the U.S., but in Haiti a different story. This is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and here everything is difficult. From the what should be simple task of getting fresh drinking water to just navigating a vehicle across town to the public hospital where, unless you are in line by 8 am, you will not see a doctor that day.
Last week a Mission Discovery medical team in partnership with Texas-based 26:12 conducted mobile medical clinics in Port au Prince, Haiti and spent one day at General Hospital downtown serving the poor. Over 650 came to seek help for conditions ranging from malaria, head aches, worms, scabies, wounds, infections, chest pain, stress, shortness of breath, TB, and illnesses never seen by our U.S. crew.
Maury Buchanan led this team for Mission Discovery, “On our first day we were in route to General Hospital and decided to stop to see the impact of the quake on the Haiti’s National Cathedral. Within a minute of stepping out of our vehicles a lady with a burned infant approached the med staff for help.” Haiti is a country more needy than ever. Since the January 12th earthquake more are simply dying because of a medical system “stressed” by volume-of-need and lack of doctors. Even now, General Hospital has no respirator in it’s ICU unit.
“We have a lot of births here but just know if you are involved in delivering a baby here today there is only a 1 and 5 chance that that baby will survive,” says Leanna Cossman, a nurse volunteer who has been serving at General for weeks, as she oriented our nurses before putting them to work in the ICU. “It’s just the way it is,” she concluded.
Last week the hospital transitioned to Haitian leadership from the leadership of NGOs. International Medical Corp and others have presences there. Scattered around the hospital grounds were individual tents, a TB isolation ward, a lab tent, a chemo tent. Doctors walked briskly in the 100 plus heat the day we were there.
Mission Discovery plans a series of trips like these to serve in Haiti. Not only medical teams, but teams to help clear rubble and rebuild homes, churches and schools. For information about future trips to Haiti, visit our search engine.