Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Leaving Soleil

The International Herald reports that Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are leaving Cite Soleil at the end of December.

Because "violence" is down and the need for trauma surgery has decreased, MSF is leaving the one and only functional hospital in Soleil. The hospital is tiny, pathetic Saint Catherine Laboure.

However, structural violence is still at an all time high in Soleil. The children are literally starving to death and their immune systems are rendered impotent. Diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis fill the overcrowed pediatric hospital wards.

Newborn premature babies lie in over-sized metal cribs up stairs. A few of these babies have tiny IV's placed by the excellent Haitian nurses. Antibiotics slowly drip in. No ventilators are present to help the newborns' immature lungs search for oxygen. The babies grandmothers gently coax the babies to take a few drops of powdered milk, and when their tiny grandchildren decide to sleep, the grandmothers lie on the floor under their cribs and sleep too.

Numerous children are abandoned in the hospital. They are too much of a financial burden for their famlies. A doctor visit at Saint Catherine's costs 75 cents and admission to the hospital costs a grand total of a couple of dollars US.

The beautiful baby girl pictured above is one of the abandoned. The nurses plead for help for her. All the mothers in the ward care about this little one, but they have their own problems. All eyes are on the blan...but they shouldn't be.

Saint Catherine's patients need Doctors Without Borders. Saint Catherine's needs very active participation from the State of Haiti and the world needs to know that the population of Soleil should not be treated in this despicable fashion.

The "violence" in Haiti is alive and well at the end of 2007. The war in Soleil continues.

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