Saturday, September 27, 2008

haiti update - september 27, 2008

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” Psalm 67:1,2

Hi! This week was a busy week with the medical program. We were able to get 3 medical visas done this week at the US Consulate. Neyssa and Marklein are 2 children with clubbed feet. I helped Angel Missions get the medical visas for them.
Daphka Saint-Vil was born with a broken lower leg, which was never set. This caused a lower leg deformity. She too was able to get a medical visa and will be traveling to Ohio to get this surgery done. Pray for traveling mercies for these children as they will soon all be traveling to get the medical care to enable them to walk normally.
Chrisno Jeudi is recovering well after having neurosurgery for his hydrocephalus in the United States. The couple, who is his host family, are both physical therapists, so he is getting physical therapy every day. He is now rolling over from his stomach to his back and back again. That is a big accomplishment for this baby considering the size of his head. It is a real blessing that he gets this intensive physical therapy opportunity. Pray for this host family’s efforts.
Kervens Guerrier is a young boy who has only one clubbed foot. He just got approved for medical care in the United States. We will be working on his passport next week.
Miliane Pierre is a 1-month-old baby girl who was born without an anus. We are moving quickly in finding medical care for her and also in preparing all her passport paperwork. Please pray that we will be able to find care for her. The mother is young and is only 17 years old. Hopefully it won’t be a problem getting a passport application for a minor with a mother who is a minor. Pray that we don’t run into too much red tape because of this situation.
Widmirtha Mervil continues in hospital at Bernard Mevs. She is showing a slight improvement. Continue to pray that the antibiotics she is receiving will cure the infection and that her malnutrition status improves. The mother still hasn’t gone into labor, which is good. The people at the hospital are hoping that Widmirtha will improve to the point of being able to be discharged from the hospital and also that the mother doesn’t go into labor while in the hospital. The family situation in this case is terrible. The pregnant mother is on her own. I spoke with an orphanage about possibly taking in Widmirtha once she is discharged on a temporary basis while she recovers from her malnutrition state or dies. God has a plan for her life. The mother was more relaxed when I told her that I found someone who could give her a helping hand in looking after Widmirtha. The neurosurgery team from the University of Miami will be coming to Haiti on October 11th to evaluate new cases and to do post-op checks on previous surgical cases. Hopefully they can determine if an infected shunt is the cause of Widmirtha’s health problems.
We were surprised this week when John Charles family took off and abandoned him here at Coram Deo. I made Paulna babysitter for the day and asked Tony of Holy Angels if they could take him in until we found a permanent location for him. Sister Genevieve who is a Colombian nurse working at Bernard Mevs Hospital contacted Food for the Poor and they accepted John into their handicapped orphanage. Pray for their efforts. I still haven’t given up on finding help for John. Hopefully the doctors can evaluate John and decide to operate on him during their visit in October. The abandonment of children continues in Haiti. At the Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs Hospital on Tabarre Road they are averaging 2 abandoned children a week! This week in the Canape Vert area of Port-au-Prince someone abandoned a 4-month-old baby by the side of the road. Concerned citizens gave the baby something to drink, changed its diaper and a policeman stood by its side while waiting for the social service department to come and remove the child. The press was there as well. People are upset with this practice but the incidents of child abandonment are increasing as parents are becoming more desperate. Continue to pray for stability in Haiti.
This week I met a nun from the Cardinal Leger Hospital in Leogane. This hospital is a leprosy hospital. She told me that leprosy is increasing. They treated 24 cases last year coming from different areas of the country (areas such as Cite Soleil, Martissant and the north). Pray for their efforts as they work to help eliminate this ancient disease from Haiti.
A mother from Fond Verrette came by this week with her hydrocephalus child. This child has a big head but is very good neurologically. Mentally and physically (other than her head size) she is normal. She will be a good candidate for surgery and we are going to get her registered at Healing Hands on Monday morning to be included on the evaluation list. The child’s name is Vanessa Jules and she is one of a family of 8 children. The Fond Verrette area was heavily damaged during the recent tropical storms. This family had the roof lifted off of their home and their crops were destroyed. They had a cow, donkey, goats and pigs that all died during the storm. This family now struggles to rebuild what was lost. 4 people died in the Fond Verrette area during the tropical storms and last week during a thunderstorm another 7 were killed (2 men, 2 women and 3 children) when struck by lightning. Pray for all the regions in the country that suffered damage. It is estimated that 60% of this year’s food harvest has been destroyed by the tropical storms, which hit as farmers were preparing to harvest corn, plantains, rice and yams from their fields. The Artibonite region is the rice growing area of Haiti and it suffered heavy damage. It will take time for another crop to grow and now the country will have to rely even more on expensive imports and also humanitarian aid. The agricultural minister estimates that the damage to Haiti’s agricultural sector is 180 million US$. 9,000 metric tons of discounted fertilizer that had been distributed to farmers washed away in the flood. Over 90,000 heads of cattle, pigs, goats etc. died during the storms. The UN and missions are struggling to help the people affected by the flooding. It is estimated that 800,000 people are in need of help with over 100,000 people in shelters. Now that the water levels are receding the massive clean-up and repair work continues. The government is negotiating with countries and companies to repair damaged and destroyed bridges. A spokesman with AHEC (Association Haitienne des Entreprises de Construction) spoke on problems of flooding especially in the Miragoane area. He stated that the flooding in Miragoane and Lac Azuei could have been prevented with maintenance. The Etang Miragoane has outlets that lead to the sea but these were blocked because of growths of seaweed. That resulted in the transforming of a section of Highway 2 into a canoe route because of the flooding.
Some of the food aid has been diverted and instead of reaching the flooded areas it is being sold in the markets of Port-au-Prince. Corruption continues to be a major problem in Haiti. In the recently released Transparency International Report for 2008 Haiti is number 4 on the corruption list with a score of 1.4 out of 10. The other 3 countries are Somalia, Burma and Irak. Continue to keep the people of Haiti in prayer.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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