Dr. Jean Bosco: Making Sense of Suffering

“We come here to learn but the problem with us is whatever circumstances we do experience, we judge it, we take it as bad or as good but we don’t take it as an opportunity to learn and discover who we really are. We are peace. We are light. We are love.”
                          ~Dr. Jean Bosco 
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Fourteen hours outside of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, Dr. Jean Bosco Niyonzima works tirelessly to build health systems and provide health care to some of the poorest people on the planet. Originally from a rural village in Rwanda,   Dr. Bosco was twenty years old when the genocide in his country in 1994 took the lives of almost one million people in just 90 days. (more…)

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Specialty Care is Fundamental

When I first saw her in the emergency department, she didn’t look like a child with recent onset blindness who we were told would arrive that day.  Her uncontrolled, bobbing head, wildly darting eye movements, and wobbly gait implied there was a broader explanation for her problems, and her constant tears made it clear that she was miserable. For almost a month, she had difficulty seeing and walking, and she arrived the Partners in Health’s (PIH) tertiary referral hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti after winding through a stream of doctors visits, email referrals, car rides, and brain scans.  Upon seeing her uncoordinated attempts at standing, my mind replayed a recent conversation with a pediatric neurologist: “If you see any kids there with chorea, it’s probably Sydenham’s.” (more…)

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Obstacles and Modern Marvels

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Haiti is always eye opening for me. From the magnificent clouds that caress the landscape, the overwhelming kindness of the people (many of whom outwardly have very little), to the prevalent horrors that afflict human beings – there are many “shocking” things here. As an outsider it is easy to be discouraged quickly by all that is apparently missing from the healthcare system, but one must not forget that Haitian nurses and doctors have been providing lifesaving care with any and all of the resources available to them. (more…)

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