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Medical Clinics in Carrefour Feuilles- Challenging the stigma of the Red Zone

January 31, 2010

I haven’t written in a while because of all the work and coordinating that I have been doing.  This is my attempt to fill everyone in on the past week.  Lots have happened.  I will sum it all up in small paragraphs and follow this post with a post of photos and captions.


One of the elders in my house died on Friday.  I call her my aunt, Ma Tant Tete.  She got worse with every aftershock and it took convincing to finally get my family to let me get her to a hospital.  This is the problem, and where we will all start to see more casualties.  For the people in the red zone, where many medical teams are afraid to come into because of this unfortunate stigma, you have people waiting for aid.  You have people without means.  You have people afraid to go to the hospital because someone has to go with them (if not, you run the risk of losing that person and having their body dumped with the others), and then you have to have the means to take a taxi back home.  All these things seem very simple, yet for the families up in the hills they are not.  For my family, it was not.  It took $40 American dollars to get my aunt to a hospital and secure that the driver would bring them back home after waiting with them.  That never happened.  She died on the way to the hospital in the car.  On top of that, they had to then spend hours with the body looking for a morgue.  Haitians have to protect their loved ones bodies or they will end up in the mass grave like the thousands that have already been dumped, burned and buried.

My “aunt” was a good friend to my grandmother and I had the opportunity to soak up her feisty spirit and loving energy this past summer.  Seeing her demise while I coordinated and assisted other medical teams was difficult, and I did all that I could do.  If anything, at least I spared the family having to have her die at home, in the hot sun, in front of the children and other family members.  These are the type of casualties we will begin to see if the UN, US, USAID, and other major coordinators of the relief efforts do not go into the communities.


I met a team of doctors in Cite Soleil and ever since that day, Don, Lynne, Diane, Vivian, and Dr Binard have been working with me.  I have been coordinating and identifying camps in Carrefour Feuilles and everyday we work for 4-6 hours tending to hundreds of patients.  As you get higher into the Carrefour Feuilles hills the more serious the wounds are.  The fact that there aren’t medical clinics covering this whole entire area, with so many people (one of the densest areas) is unacceptable!  Its an outrage actually and I am calling it criminal.

The comforting things about this whole situation is the fact that I have this team of doctors who are enjoying the communities in the area.  They can’t quite understand what people are afraid of.  They honestly can’t understand how or why this gigantic area is considered a red zone.  I don’t either.  And I don’t see red zone.  I see the woman who was seven months pregnant and bleeding yesterday (turns out her water broke).  Cheveboule and I spent hours trying to find a proper hospital for her (which is another post altogether) and eventually we did.  If that woman did not get to a hospital her and her baby would have died.  I see the 14-year-old girl with a dislocated shoulder and hip who was patched up at L’hopital General after the earthquake yet could not walk and had a visibly dislocated shoulder.  She’s been like this for two weeks!  I see countless numbers of women and men with huge holes in their legs and old sutures with no medical care.  I also see hundreds, if not thousands of dehydrated babies and babies being born on the street with no medical care.  This is the red zone folks.  This is what they are all afraid of.  This is how our people will die post earthquake.

I will continue to set up medical clinics in this area.  If you know of a team of doctors who can get past the bs of the red zone please have them contact me directly.  I already have about ten more camps that need assistance.  The only thing I need is teams of doctors.  I am challenging these medical teams right now.  We can begin as soon as today, or tomorrow even.  Please have medical teams reach me at or 36371306.

In Solidarity!

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