Sunday, March 04, 2007

Was This Child Worth Four Dollars?

HIV is gobbling up millions of children in the developing world. They either have AIDS or are orphaned by AIDS.

This Haitian boy has AIDS. Whether he will actually receive HAART or important prophylactic antibiotics is difficult to know. For many reasons, Haiti is not patient friendly right now.

A recent study stated that if the drug neviparine is given to the HIV positive mothers during labor and their babies are given neviparine during the first 72 hours of life, 1000 babies per day around the world could avoid AIDS.

Many HIV positive Haitian mothers will deliver this week in Haiti. The cost for treating mother and baby is four dollars US. It is very cost effective medicine. How many will actually receive this medication this week?


Pam said...

How do we get the four dollars to Haiti to help prevent the transmission of AIDS to babies? Is the problem the lack of money for medicine, or the lack of medical infrastructure to make the delivery of the medicines possible?

John A. Carroll, M.D. said...


Insufficent primary care services and lack of laboratories that patients can afford are two big problems. Government and international aid partners must make primary care easy to obtain for poor Haitians and the system needs to be more friendly to people infected with HIV and tuberculosis.

My experience has been that is is very difficult for a Haitian mother to walk out of the slum, get to a hospital with their sick child suffering from HIV or tuberculosis, and actually obtain effective treatment for themselves or their child. There are so many obstacles along the way with POVERTY being obstacle number one.

Political commitment and will from the Haitian government and the international community to make Haitian health a priority is essential.

Pam, I wish I could give you a more practical answer.


Pam said...


Thank you for your thoughtful reply. It seems to be a frustrating reality that those countries that need the most help create obstacles to receiving it.

Today, we encountered some pre-med students raising funds for Globe Med for a clinic in Haiti (but not in Cite Soliel). It was a joy to be able to help them a little. There is an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince we support, but truly, it is so small a thing in a place with such great needs.

Because of the overwhelming poverty and instability, we have chosen to help the people of Haiti however we can. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help you in your efforts.


Pam said...


Pam here again -- if there is anything we can do to help, you can email me at pam @ racette . com, without the spaces, of course.

Thank you, and may God bless you, for your work.