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The Life-Saving Gift of Food

November 9, 2010

Written by Dr. Joe Markee, who is with the medical team currently working in Haiti:

Often when we arrive, we see a “backlog” of patients who seem to waiting for our return. We have been holding clinic daily since Thursday so the usual “Monday crush” of urgent patients was spread over the last four days. Nevertheless, we have seen a number of neglected cases such as severe abscesses and infections (malaria, typhoid fever but, surprisingly, not many cases of cholera).

Often patients tell us that they have not been able to see doctors because “mwen pa gen kob” (I don’t have money to go to the doctor). This shows, I feel, that they know they can be seen in our clinic whether or not they can pay.

The other striking finding is the fact that many patients have been waiting to be seen without having eaten, often for several days. Every surgical case we have done has been on patients who do not have enough money even to feed themselves for several days before they come to the clinic (not to mention their family). It was such a joy to see our kitchen staff bring food to the patients and their families last at night after we finished surgery.

Thanks to the wonderful benefactors who have supplied the funds for rice and beans for the patients at the Clinic of Hope. More than ever, in the midst of a hurricane, this has been a life-saving gift.

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