The Challenges

February 27, 2010

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Haiti Foundation of Hope has had a volunteer medical team in Haiti this past week. The team is scheduled to return home tomorrow and another team will leave for Haiti on Thursday.

“This past week has been very hard in Terre Blanche,” writes team leader Linda Markee. “One reason is the unexpected number of young mothers who died in the earthquake, leaving infants and newborns with no means of nutrition. Obviously the families are trying to find help anywhere they can.”

Another difficulty is the large number of patients who had been receiving care from Port-au-Prince physicians who died in the quake. It’s hard to know where to turn to find referrals for patients needing more treatment than is available at the Clinic of Hope. “It was difficult to find consultants in the past,” Linda writes. “Now it is overwhelming.”

One example of this problem is a 4-year-old girl who had had a shunt placed for hydrocephalus, or swelling in the brain, last November. By the time she came to the clinic she was not very responsive due to the shunt having become infected. The neurosurgeon who had placed the shunt and who had been treating the girl was killed in the earthquake.

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