Friday, January 15, 2010


With moderate supplies, we can try to practice low-resource medicine. Without supplies, doctors and nurses don't matter. No real medicine takes place, and a hospital becomes a mere gathering of medical personnel. Or a morgue.

* Outdoor amputation with local anesthesia (video).

* Underequipped field hospital whose physicians are doing what little they can (video).

* Logistical nightmare for Doctors Without Borders (article).

No one could have prevented the earthquake, but Haiti was especially vulnerable because of shoddy infrastructure and lack of health services. The historic reasons for this are many and wretched. Tracy Kidder points out that there are 10,000 aid organizations established in Haiti, yet it remains obscenely poor. Educate yourself about Haiti and about Partners in Health's medical efforts there in his unforgettable book Mountains Beyond Mountains.

OF NOTE: Going to Haiti? Need some Creole? As of 1/15/10, Transparent Language is offering their "Byki Haitian Creole" software for free on iTunes, as their way of helping. And Pimsleur offers its first ten lessons of Haitian Creole free as well.

1 comment:

  1. Well and grimly put. "No Resource Medicine" - I'd like to hear more about that.