Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Stupid Disease

Neonatal Tetanus
Cite Soleil
October 16, 2012
(Photo by John Carroll)
Why does this 12 day old infant boy have tetanus? Because his mother was not fully immunized against tetanus while she was pregnant with him. That would not have cost much money. Five billion dollars was pledged to Haiti post earthquake. However, none of these funds helped this little dude.

Thus, this guy has a very stupid disease that could and should have been prevented. His back is arched and he has seizures. He stands about a 20% chance of surviving. This boy needs a good pediatric intensive care unit. Soleil doesn't have one. Soleil doesn't have much of anything except good people and misery everywhere you look.

There are about one million cases of tetanus in the world each year. Most cases occur in the developing world. And about 40% of these people die. Neonates have the highest mortality rate.

Stupidity in systems breeds catastrophes like this one.

John A. Carroll, MD

1 comment: