Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Email from Phuoc Le, MD, MPH en Route to Haiti

Dearest Family and Friends,

...Just minutes from boarding AA flight 2087 to Santo Domingo, the first leg of my journey to Port-Au-Prince, my post-call. mind wanders to the visuals of August 2007 when I first was in Haiti on an orientation trip with Partners In Health. At that time, I remember chastizing myself for being so unimaginably oblivious to the plight and endless endurance of our neighbors, living barely an hour's flying time from Miami.

I wrote the following in an short article several years ago detailing an experience in the Haitian Central Plateau:

"It was the fourth day of our weeklong introduction to Zanmi Lasante (ZL), the Partners in Health sister organization in Haiti. At five in the morning, we set out to conduct a day-long mobile clinic at a remote hilltop village called Gwo Moulen. When we finally reached the clinic site, the village leaders had already assembled several hundred people of all ages, patiently waiting under a relentless sun, to receive services like vaccinations, family planning and general medical consultation. The ZL doctors informed us that, for some of the villagers, this was their first encounter with any health care provider aside from traditional healers. For the next several hours, we separated into small groups of doctors with interpreters, frantically interviewing, examining, counseling and prescribing. We worked at a frenzied pace with more patient volume in one hour than we would see in a day back in Boston. By the time we started trekking back down the mountain in the late afternoon, we had served nearly eight hundred people."

The devastation brought on by the earthquake has now informed billions across our planet of the centuries long struggle and unending resilience of the Haitian people. I feel humbled and privileged to be able to work and learn side by side with our neighbors. Please visit for frequent updates and ways you can help. I will try to send messages when possible.

In solidarity,

20 Jan 2010 11:14:43

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