FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Making the Effort to Live in Cité Soleil

Port-au-Prince.

We won’t be able to go to Soleil tomorrow.  Too much shooting. Gangs against gangs and then the police come and shoot too. My driver Djongo does not play. He grew up in Soleil.

But this morning I creep into Drouillard on the outskirts of Soleil to check a patient named Daniel. A cement maze of corridors. Up a stairway to where? A cell phone light shows me Daniel’s face. We hug. Daniel’s mitral valve is squeaky and he is thin. He can’t breathe in this dark room. His bioprosthetic valve has calcified and he needs help from St. Jude. He is scorned on both sides of the water but says he will make the effort (m’ap fe efo) and slowly elevates his cachectic frame onto a tap-tap for an echocardiogram in dusty terrible downtown.

We continue on into Soleil. No gunshots this fine morning. But the general pediatric clinic in the back of Soleil is only one-quarter full and the starving-baby clinic is only one-half full. The mothers are afraid to come today. Who likes ducking bullets?

And since January 1, three weeks ago, the Haitian Hospital next to the pediatric clinic is now charging 100 Haitian dollars for a bed and 250 Haitian dollars for oxygen if you need it. And 50 Haitian dollars will buy you an IV and rehydration fluid that will save your miserable life. And a treatment of a first degree burn is cheaper than treatment of a third degree burn. These obscene charges keep many moms and babies away because they can’t pay. Only eight babies in the almost empty shabby rooms of the pediatric department. There should be hundreds of babies filling these rooms getting treatment for the ubiquitous stupid slum illnesses.

However a sad sixteen year old brought her baby boy in after paying eight Haitian dollars for his dossier. Baby Boy is nine hours old. He has no real name quite yet. She delivered him in Sarthe at 3 AM this morning and carried him into the slum today at 11 AM because he wasn’t moving or crying. His cord was tied with a dirty piece of cloth. Baby boy stared and took shallow breaths. But he would blink if I blew in his eyes.

My guess is hypoxic encephalopathy while he was trying to enter this hell. Who knows? Mother was staring too with no emotion at all. Oxygen per nostrils and an IV and NG tube didn’t do much for Baby Boy but he was making the effort to live.

John A. Carroll, M.D. is a physician working in Port-au-Prince.

 

More articles by:

John A. Carroll, M.D. is a physician working in Port-au-Prince.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 19, 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Requiem for a Lightweight: the Mayor Pete Factor
Kenneth Surin
In China Again
Stephen Cooper
Abolishing the Death Penalty Requires Morality
George Ochenski
The DNC Can’t Be Allowed to Ignore the Climate Crisis
John W. Whitehead
The Omnipresent Surveillance State
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
Guaidó’s Star Fades as His Envoys to Colombia Allegedly Commit Fraud With Humanitarian Funds for Venezuela
Dave Lindorff
What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?
Howard Lisnoff
Try Not to Look Away
Binoy Kampmark
Matters of Water: Dubious Approvals and the Adani Carmichael Mine
Karl Grossman
The Battle to Stop the Shoreham Nuclear Plant, Revisited
Kani Xulam
Farting in a Turkish Mosque
Dean Baker
New Manufacturing Jobs are Not Union Jobs
Elizabeth Keyes
“I Can’t Believe Alcohol Is Stronger Than Love”
June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: USA Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail