Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blogging from Haiti

I appreciate the Peoria Journal Star allowing me to blog from Haiti on their website.

Haitians Don't Deserve This


A very sick 15 year old girl with cholera produced this stool this morning.

The Ascaris parasite nestled in the bucket was passed at the same time.

Something is wrong here.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011



This is Willie.

Willie is 23 years old now.

OSF denied Willie a new pacemaker when the pacemaker that was put in at OSF was failing a few years ago. When I examined Willie in Haiti, he had no get up and go due to the weak pacemaker. He would die unless we did something.

Haitian Hearts offered OSF full charges for a new pacemaker, but that didn't help. OSF still refused to care for Willie.

Haitian Hearts paid another well known children's hospital $5,000 and they gave Willie a new pacemaker right after their pediatric cardiologist examined him.

Willie is doing well.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WikiLeaks and Haitian Earthquake

Photo by John Carroll

Published on The Nation (
WikiLeaks Haiti: Embassy Warned of Earthquake Vulnerability

Dan Coughlin | June 15, 2011

US officials in Haiti warned that the Haitian government would be unable to handle a major earthquake, five years before a devastating tremor destroyed large swaths of the capital and surrounding towns, killing tens of thousands of people, according to a secret US cable made available by the media organization WikiLeaks.

"The last thing Haiti needs now is an earthquake," said a May 25, 2005, cable, written two weeks after a 4.3 magnitude tremor shook Port-au-Prince. No injuries were reported, and damage was minor. But the cable warned that "a more severe earthquake would be catastrophic, as the government of Haiti is unprepared to handle a natural disaster of any magnitude," adding that such an event would compound problems of political instability, poverty and environmental degradation.

The earthquake warning was in a trove of 1,918 cables that WikiLeaks made available to Haïti Liberté, which is collaborating with The Nation on a series of reports on US and UN policy toward the country.

The cable concluded that a team from USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance "will come to Port-au-Prince in June [2005] to help the embassy coordinate its disaster preparations, and to try to jump-start [Government of Haiti] and donor coordination and planning."

Yet the January 12, 2010, earthquake appeared to catch unprepared the Haitian government, international NGOs and a 9,000-strong UN military force that had occupied Haiti since the 2004 overthrow of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Relief and reconstruction efforts were—and continue to be—slow and chaotic, marred by a lack of coordination and open competition between various governments and international agencies.

"I do not understand it," exclaimed ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer the week after the earthquake, questioning the sluggish US response. "Six days and they are only ninety minutes away from Miami." "With every day that passes in the mud and rubble of Haiti, the failures of the relief effort are heartbreaking," read a New York Times editorial two months later.

Today, seventeen months after the quake, a raging cholera epidemic has claimed more than 5,330 lives, a figure that is expected to climb. A USAID-commissioned report released in May, titled “Building Assessments and Rubble Removal in Quake-Affected Neighborhoods in Haiti,” estimates that between 141,000 and 375,000 people remain without homes. Meanwhile, only about 37 percent of the $4.6 billion in support pledges has been disbursed, an alarming figure, given how much Haiti relies on the international community. Some 65 percent of the Haitian government budget and most, if not all, of its infrastructure spending comes from international sources. Almost half the population receives at least some health services financed by the US government, according to the US Embassy.

Haiti lies between two major fault lines that traverse the country, one under the capital and one beneath the second-largest city, Cap Haïtien, in the north. Seismologists consider both "quite dangerous," according to the cable, which warns, "The northern fault, in particular, has not released significant energy in over 800 years."

"According to experts, approximately 4 to 8 meters of left lateral slippage has already accumulated and should it be released, could register 8.0 or higher on the Richter scale, with no forewarning," the cable warns. "The soil conditions in Haiti are such that an earthquake anywhere in the country could cause severe liquefaction, whereby soil is turned to a quicksand type liquid, which is a considerable threat to infrastructure such as buildings, dams, bridges and highways."

Source URL:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Whitewashed in Haiti

See this article from the Huffington Post.

Haiti, Cholera, and Structural Violence

What Is Structural Violence?

Structural violence, a term coined by Johan Galtung and by liberation theologians during the 1960s, describes social structures—economic, political, legal, religious, and cultural—that stop individuals, groups, and societies from reaching their full potential [57]. In its general usage, the word violence often conveys a physical image; however, according to Galtung, it is the “avoidable impairment of fundamental human needs or…the impairment of human life, which lowers the actual degree to which someone is able to meet their needs below that which would otherwise be possible” [58]. Structural violence is often embedded in longstanding “ubiquitous social structures, normalized by stable institutions and regular experience” [59]. Because they seem so ordinary in our ways of understanding the world, they appear almost invisible. Disparate access to resources, political power, education, health care, and legal standing are just a few examples. The idea of structural violence is linked very closely to social injustice and the social machinery of oppression [16].

Paul Farmer, MD

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Good Words

Steve Ballmer
Chief executive, Microsoft
University of Southern California

People think passion is something you either have or you don’t. People think passion is something that has to manifest itself in some kind of explosive and emotional format. It’s not. It’s the thing that you find in your life that you can care about, that you can cling to, that you can invest yourself in, heart, body and soul. Finding passion is kind of your job now.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Bishop Jenky and Notre Dame Take One on the Chin

Bishop Jenky and The Catholic Diocese of Peoria had quite a bit to do with eliminating Haitian Hearts patients from coming to Peoria's OSF.

Young Haitians who were operated at OSF in the 90's have died as I have documented numerous times on my blogs.

It is all very sad.

And now Bishop Jenky and his colleagues on the Board of Trustees at the University of Notre Dame look pretty sad.

Roxanne Martino, a newly appointed wealthy pro choice member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees, just resigned this afternoon.

See this article in the Chicago Tribune.

I wonder what The Catholic Post in Peoria will report about this. Bishop Jenky is the publisher.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Cholera's Challenge to Haiti and the World

This is a good article with a good link.

Let's Blame Haiti's Rainy Season

See this article on the cholera resurgence in Haiti as the rains come.

Haiti's Minimum Wage and WikiLeaks

Read this article.

Makes me sad.

I had a very sick malnourished baby in Cite Soleil. I wanted to admit the baby to the malnourished clinic that we have. However, the baby's mother stated that she could not come each day with the baby because she had to keep her job in the textile factory on airport road.

So the baby was denied admission to our malnourished clinic because the mom needed to keep her job. Mom triaged the situation and her baby lost.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Bishop Jenky and Notre Dame

See this article published in the National Catholic Register and the comments that follow.

I will explain soon how this is related to Haitian kids being denied medical care.

As always it is about power and money.