I have been reloacted for two days to the epicenter of the quake!
4/19/10 - 4/19/10 95 °F
I arrived safely to a small town named Leogan, where the epicenter of the quake was. In Port Au Prince the devastation is vast, it is much more densely populated but the destruction was hit or miss. There were standing structures next to a pile of ruble where a house used to lye. In Leogan there are less homes but each structure seems to have suffered either structural damage or total demise.
We set up clinic in front of a damaged church sheltered from the blaring heat by blue tarps providing the necessary shade. It was not as busy as Port Au Prince here but then again it was just myself, one other provider and a person working our “pharmacy”. There was no need for triage so I got to play doctor. I saw one teenager that I believe had malaria, a couple of people that had anxiety and depression, some digestive problems, almost every one of my patients had scabies, some severe. I had 3 patients that I believed to have congestive heart failure, I had various other patients with skin diseases , cysts, and the saddest was a 6 month old baby boy that was malnourished, with severe scabies from head to toe, his lungs sounded full of mucus, he was eating very little, and his feet had grown from thick scabies to an open infection with painful wounds. I gave him medicine for his scabies and infections but without constant care I don’t see him resolving. I referred him to the hospital, and I really hope that his mother takes him. In the states he would have been admitted to children’s hospital for a good length of time and placed on IV antibiotics, rehydration and a nutrition plan. His limbs were so small, he looked half his age…
Worms and skin rashes are unavoidable for Haitians that are homeless forced to live on the streets. Scabies and lice abound, we treat the scabies reaquisition is unavoidable with current living conditions. We have not found a sufficient long-term solution and I don’t anticipate finding one until a superior housing situation is established.
I anticipate more sickness to develop in the coming months due to the poor access to proper human waste locations. People relieve themselves whenever and wherever they are at the time. There are so many piles of ruble or trash that people simply add their waste to the piles. Without working plumbing or port potties diseases are bound to increase along with other gastric problems.
I already miss the translators from Port Au Prince, we are facebook friends however, and two of them have already written to me. They are absolutely adorable with sweet spirits that would brighten anyone’s day.
However, I miss Leigh the most, I can’t wait to come home to her! 2 more nights!