“Will you charge me?” he asked quietly, between labored breaths. He sat in the hospital bed with his legs over the side in what is known as a “tripod” position—his elbows resting on a nearby stool to prop his chest up as much as possible. His head was hunched over, with eyes pointed down; clearly he was in agony. (more…)
Robert M. Wachter recently joined the Global Health Core on a trip to Haiti to experience first-hand the Core's efforts to provide quality care across borders. Dr. Wachter is Professor and Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
This is a phrase that Dr. Pierre, one of my Haitian colleagues here in Hinche, uses frequently. What he means is that medical conditions and the treatments they require do not actually differ between a low resource setting like central Haiti and a hospital like University of California, San Francisco. Of course, some diagnoses here (malaria, leptospirosis, cholera) are rarely encountered on the wards of American hospitals. In addition, we must remember that illness is often shaped by political, social, and economic inequities. But the fundamentals of disease are the same; the human body doesn’t know that it was born across the border. (more…)