Can an ultrasound be healing?

We have just arrived on the internal medicine ward at St Therese Hospital in Hinche, a regional district hospital in Haiti’s Central Plateau.  Despite its position as a district level hospital, the ward has few resources for diagnosis or treatment, and the resources it does have may be available only intermittently.   And yet into this environment come patients with severe illness, often at late stages of presentation. (more…)

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On AIDS in Tanzania

Something as simple as a pill in the palm of her hand

This Tanzanian woman

sings as she breast feeds

They say it was rain

But it was always my

tears and sweat

which brought up the maize

They said the railroads

will bring a new day (more…)

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Bloody Diamonds

There are no paintings on the walls in the hospitals I have worked at in the capital of Liberia over the past five years. The bareness on the walls parallels the limited equipment I have on hand to care for patients with bacterial meningitis, pericardial tuberculosis, and malaria. Listening to some of these patients or looking at their chest films without the benefit of modern technology, I get the feeling I am seeing pathology in its most extreme form—the way people saw it when the diseases we now treat routinely in the United States were first discovered. Listening to the sandpaper sound of one man’s pericardial rub, I think, “Oh! That’s why we call it a ‘rub!’” (more…)

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