Category Archives: World Issues

Public Health in Haiti’s

Port-au-Prince, a city of 3.5 million people of which half live in slums, has 21 public health facilities including four hospitals. These fee-for-service facilities hardly function due to a lack of paid medical staff, equipment and supplies.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

“It’s unacceptable today that Haiti’s poorest have no access to affordable and quality emergency trauma and obstetrical care services,” says Brian Phillip Moller, head of mission for MSF’s Trinité trauma and rehabilitation center. “While the Haitian government and donors focus on the economic development of the country they can no longer ignore the desperate needs of impoverished Haitians for quality and accessible public medical care.”

Public hospital and clinics are often plagued by management problems, strikes, and shortages of staff, drug, and medical supplies.

MSF started providing emergency care when violence in Port-au-Prince limited access to health care for its population. Today, although the security situation has improved, the health needs of the vulnerable population of Port-au-Prince remain largely unaddressed.

MSF invests more than 13 million euros (US $17.5 million) per year in its emergency medical programs in Haiti. MSF’s obstetric hospital currently manages 40 percent of all obstetric emergencies for vulnerable women in Port-au-Prince, while MSF’s Trinité hospital treated close to 17,950 trauma cases in 2008, and has the only adequate burns unit in Haiti. Likewise, 16,950 medical emergency cases were treated at MSF’s hospital in the slum Martissant in 2008, where no other public health services exist. During the April 2008 demonstrations against rapidly increasing food prices, MSF teams treated more than 44 gunshot-wounded patients in four days, an indicator of the instability of this Caribbean nation.

For all Doctors Without Borders content about Haiti, click here >>

Photo Credit: Andy Levin

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month and nearly 500,000 pinwheels have been distributed nationwide by Prevent Child Abuse America as the centerpiece of our new campaign Pinwheels for Prevention. Through out chapters in 47 states and Healthy Families America sites in over 400 communities, Prevent Child Abuse America works to provide healthy, stable, and stimulating experiences for children in communities across the country. Prevent Child Abuse America highlights the fact that we all play a role in raising children whether we are neighbors, teachers, police officers, librarians, mentors, coaches, or family members. In April, as well as year around, we want to highlight how you can become involved with child abuse prevention efforts in your community.

For those of you interested in what is happening this month in April for Child Abuse Prevention…

1,500 Child Abuse Prevention Resource Packets were developed and distributed to local childcare centers and schools in Delaware. The recipients are encouraged to use the materials to share with the children and families they are involved with and they also have the opportunity to order as many pinwheels as needed to hand out to the children at no cost to them. Each pinwheel is accompanied by an information card for the parent/caregiver. The paper pinwheel activity, pinwheel coloring sheet and a lesson plan are all materials that are included in the packet.

Pinwheels and baseball caps will also be handed out to as many as 1,000 children at an upcoming Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game along with other prevention information. In addition over 600 pinwheels will be distributed and will also go on display in flower pots throughout the Dover Air Force Base in recognition of the campaign.

To see what your state is doing, click here.

Bad things

Sometimes you can just sense when something is wrong. At least I can. And about 10 minutes ago I brought something upstairs to wash. As I was walking downstairs I felt weird, cold and shakey. I fell down about 5 stairs. I’m fine. Just sprained my shoulder.

Took some Tylenol and turned on Heroes. To breaking news. Something tragic has happened at the Naval Yard in South Philadelphia. 4 people killed, 1 critically injured. The shooter turned the gun on himself. I’m not sure what happened. It just upsets me when bad things happen. Life is so precious, so short, why would anyone do this? I have been angry and depressed, but I would never take an innocent person’s life. I just don’t understand.