Saturday, February 26, 2011
Cancer in Haiti is Especially Cruel
Photo by John Carroll
February 24, 2011
This man is a very nice 65 year old man with a very swollen abdomen. It is full of ascites.
He can't take in a big breath and cannot eat due to all the pressure in his abdomen.
A needle slipped in his left lower quadrant drained three liters of red-yellow liquid. He probably had 10 more liters inside that I did not want to touch this clinic visit.
He has wasting of his facial musculature due to lack of protein. And the has the look of a dying man.
Haiti has been plundered from inside and out for the last two hundred years and innocent people like him have suffered for the last two hundred years.
He has no access to state-of-the art diagnostic and therapeutic health care. He has no access to much of anything except poverty.
We just do for him what we can. And what I do is clearly inadequate.
Baby Doc, sitting in his hotel overlooking Port-au-Prince, should personally give a hand helping him each day. When this man has personal hygiene cares that he cannot do, Baby Doc should help.
And if Baby Doc needs a day off, someone from the States that has voted to freeze funds for public projects in Haiti during the last twenty years should come down and help this man. At least bring him some pain killers during his last days.
We don't treat our animals like this.
I know my view is skewed. I work downstream. But this scenario is really Haiti for millions of Haitians who have little access to technology that exists 90 minutes from here.
Haiti is mainly a man made disaster. It is not cursed. The devil did not do this. God did not do this.
And the earthquake did not kill people. Bad buildings killed people. Lack of medical care killed people. Lack of infrastructure killed people. Lack of caring government officials kill people.
Most Haitian suffering is not necessary and is preventable in the first place.
This nice man will die a painful death due to us.