Friday, October 22, 2010

Cholera in Haiti: A Message from Ian Rawson

"Last evening, the Center for Disease Control confirmed that the cases of diarrheal illness that HAS Haiti and other hospitals in the Artibonite region have been receiving have been identified as Cholera.

"HAS has instituted the World Health Organization Cholera treatment protocol, and redesigned the hospital's patient flow to keep the cholera patients in a separate area.

"All HAS staff have been provided with training on cholera and its effects, and its treatment.

"HAS remains in close contact with the CDC, whose efforts are now focused on localizing the source of the disease. A CDC team was at the hospital last night to study maps of the region and to review our patient data, especially the localities where the patients have been living during the previous week.

"Most patients appear to have contracted the disease from one or several sites at some distance from the hospital. We have received very few patients from the immediate area.

"Under the able direction of our newly-arived Medical Director, Dr. Silvia Ernst (who was formerly at the Schweitzer hospital in Lambarene), HAS has been able to manage the patient flow without undue stress. All of the staff have served long hours with great professionalism.
To a great extent, cholera is a nursing disease, requiring the establishment and maintenance of IV lines, education to the patients' families to remain hydrated, and the administration of antibiotics as appropriate. Most patients so far have been able to recuperate and return home within several days."

Ian Grant Rawson

Top Image: Dieu Nalio Chery/AP: "Cholera victims in Haiti receive treatment at the St. Nicholas hospital in Saint Marc, Haiti." Source: NPR.ORG
Bottom Image: Source:

Media Links:
Medcins Sans Frontiers

Friday, October 8, 2010

Courage for the Disabled at HAS Haiti: An audio slide show by Martha Rial

Click the image above to view the audio slideshow!
(FYI::Captions for the images are available by clicking on the word "captions"
in the lower right hand corner of the view box!)

Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist, Martha Rial, journeyed to Haiti in the summer of 2010 to photograph our work at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti. This is the first of two audio slide shows that she compiled about two very exciting collaborations that are taking place at the hospital, one with the United Nations, and another with Hanger Orthopedic Group.

This particular video shows images of Haitians who have suffered the loss of a limb, whether as a result of the January 2010 earthquake, motor vehicle accident or illness. Hanger Orthopedic Group is working in collaboration with HAS's revolutionary rehabilitation program to fulfill two major needs in Haiti that were greatly escalated since the earthquake: jobs for unemployed or internally displaced Haitians, and new artificial limbs for amputees.

The young man whose voice is heard in the background of this video is singing a rap song that he wrote called "Kouraj pou handicape," or "Courage for the disabled."

Even before January's devastating earthquake, living with disability in Haiti was often synonymous with a loss of livelihood. Haitians with disabilities often live isolated existences, shut away from much of the outside world, and heavily reliant on friends and family to provide for them. For years now, HAS Haiti and the "Friends" have been trying to change this situation, by integrating rehabilitation services into their vision for improved health care in Haiti.

This new effort in collaboration with Hanger Group, however, brings wholly new meaning to the phrase, "Courage for the disabled." A picture, of course, is worth a thousand words.

Click here or on the photo above to view the audio slideshow.