Sunday, July 13, 2008

haiti update - july 12, 2008

“By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.” Proverbs 29:4

Hi! This week was a busy week with the medical program. Naphtalie Bazile came back from the United States on Saturday and now is with her family once again. We are going to organize sending her to Healing Hands for physical therapy. Pray she continues to be healthy and for patience for her family. Development goes slower for a hydrocephalus baby, as the body needs to grow in size before the head can be supported. We brought another hydrocephalus baby, Chrisno Jeudi to see a pediatrician at Bernard Mevs this week. He has had a fever for the last 3 weeks. We got some lab work done and hopefully the medicine will improve his health. He is on our wait list for medical care in the United States and needs to be in good health before he will be considered. Dieuna Philippe is a hydrocephalus baby who is currently in the United States. She has not made good progress. She was near death when she traveled to the United States and is now finally out of hospital but she has a feeding tube in place. Pray she will be able to eat normally as one day she will need to come back to Haiti and to her family who live in Cite Soleil. Several new medical cases came to the house this week. Octavio Jean is a 9-month-old baby who has a cleft lip/palette. Hopefully he will be able to participate in the next round of plastic surgeries that will be done in October or November. A young mother came to the house with her hydrocephalus baby. Marcensly Pierre is 6 months old and his head started to enlarge starting at 2 months of age. The mother is a widow. The baby was born on January 16th and the father died one day later after being shot and killed in the Petionville area. We registered Marcensly at Healing Hands and hopefully he will be able to get surgery in October when the neurosurgery team from the University of Miami returns to Haiti. This upcoming week will be busy showing the regional director of Smile Train around to different hospitals. Smile Train is an organization that is working around the world providing medical care for cleft lips and palettes. Their goal for Haiti is to make it possible for every person born with a cleft lip/palette to be able to get plastic surgery to correct this congenital defect. Angel Missions is coordinating with Smile Train in these efforts. Pray for open doors at hospitals here in Haiti to make this goal possible. A mother came with her malnourished child to Coram Deo this week and he was in bad shape. Stevenson is 16 months old and he was dehydrated and limp. We brought him to the hospital at Bernard Mevs where they immediately admitted him to the pediatrics room and started him on iv’s to rehydrate him. He was also put on oxygen. After tests were done he was found to have pneumonia in both of his lungs. Pray that the medical treatment that is being given will be able to help him. It is difficult for a malnourished child to overcome illnesses sometimes as they are already in a weakened state. The mother as well is malnourished.
The UN World Food Program is increasing its efforts to feed more people here in Haiti. It is preparing to feed 2.3 million people or around 25% of the population of Haiti. This figure gives an idea as to how the high food prices are affecting this country. Currently the UN World Food Program feeds 800,000 people.
In Haiti, 1 out of 8 children die before reaching 5 years of age and 1 out of 14 children die before reaching 1 year of age. Some of these deaths are caused by malaria. Out of 100,000 cases of fevers treated at health centers here in Haiti, 30,000 or 30%, are diagnosed and treated as malaria. The government is encouraging malaria education to combat these high rates.
Haiti is also dealing with higher fuel costs, which is causing some difficulties. More people have decided to walk greater distances to save money. Some families are reducing the quantity of food eaten in a day in order to pay for the increased transportation costs. Out of frustration passengers sometimes fight with the drivers of the tap-taps over the increased fares. ¾ of the population live on less than $2 per day. The $2 can only go so far and when food and fuel prices go up life gets more difficult.
Willy and Joel will be starting a summer camp for about 500 children in Cite Soleil starting on Monday. Pray things go well for this camp. Cite Soleil is calm. The guns are still there but they are hidden because of the presence of the UN.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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