Monday, September 04, 2006

"It's Not Your Fault"

This mother and baby pictured came into the clinic this morning. Mom appeared very sad, poor, and pregnant. Her baby’s name is Peterson.

Mom reported that Peterson, who is 14 months old and weighs six kilograms, has been coughing, running a fever, and having diarrhea for “some time”. I noticed their address on the dossier is Cite Soleil.

I asked Mom if the baby has a father. She replied that he had died eight months ago. When I asked if he was sick she said that he was shot and killed by “blan”. Blan means foreigner in Haitian Creole. She said he was caught in a crossfire between the United Nations forces and the “chimere” in Soleil. Chimere means "dragon" and the dragons are gang members in Soleil. When he left the house that day, he did not know it was so “hot” on the street according to mom. She touched my wrist for a second and told me that it was not my fault that the father of her children was killed by blan.

Mom reported that she has four kids at home. None can go to school now because of the civil war in the slum and she has no money since the children's father is gone. They have no money.

Peterson’s lungs sounded very noisy and a chest x ray revealed pneumonia. With his malnutrition and the fact that Peterson looked so bad, I admitted him to the hospital. There is a very good chance that his pneumonia is tuberculosis.

No comments: