Posted in Health on 01/27/2010 08:14 pm by admin
Dr Kokayi has the opportunity to interview two doctors who have just returned from Haiti earlier in the morning after being part of relief efforts for over the last seven days. Dr Henry Paul a nephrologist is Hatian born and Dr William Lois a surgeon is Cuban born. Both have practices here in the NY area and Dr Paul is president of the NY chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Haitians (noahny.org). Both share their impressions about the devastation taking place there and the field hospital that they were a part of establishing. Both doctors along with Dr Kokayi’s long time friend Dr Jonel Daphnus, also a guest for this program, are preparing to return to Haiti next week. All three doctors are looking to a future in which massive efforts will be needed to bring some level of restoration to a land where people are living under sheets tied to four poles with a rainy season just a couple of months away. There account is emotionally provoking an informative. Callers also shared comments and questions.
Well the first of two earthquakes in Haiti was just over two weeks ago (I’m including the earthquake that was greater than 6.0 on the Richter scale that occurred several days later as the second quake…too strong for an after shock) ….so we have witnessed the outpouring of support to the Haitian people as well as comments from some of America’s more ignorant from suggestions that this was God’s wrath to we should not give these people anymore AID because poverty still exists so they re not capable of being helped to the fact that given the proximity of the ocean they should just go fishing for food. But by and large Americans and corporations of all ilks are stepping up. Verizon wireless customers have donated 7.82 million which stand stands atop the list of contributors that I have to 100,000 from the Shell Oil company. Most of these donations have gone to organizations like the American red cross, doctors without borders, Save the
children, and Partners in Health. But you can also check out some local organization in the New Yorkarea. I have posted two suggested by one of our guests ..the Haitian Woman For Haitian Refugees and MUDHA (Movement of Dominican Haitian Women…you can find more information at Globalmedicinereview.com. Countries the world over have been sending aid and rescue teams to Haiti. We would like to think that at these times humanity shows its best face. In a moment we will here from two American doctors in the Haitian community who just returned from Haitiafter being there this past week.
I want to first turn to the question of the Price of AID…the Price of Assistance from the West. There has been an ongoing effort on the part of organizations like the Jubilee Debt Relief campaign to have Haiti’s external debt forgiven. Lets not forget that following Haiti’s independence in 1804 Francepopped up with warships in 1825 demanding that Haitirepay them for the loss slave of their slave colony to the tune of 21 billion dollars. Haitiwas paying this debt into the 1900s. Keep in mind that under French slavery the average Haitian lifespan was 21 years. And of course there was Papa Doc and Baby Doc, the Duvalier regime from about 1964 to 1984 accounting for 30 to 40% percent of Haiti’s present debt, according to what sources you read. And lastly the two USbacked coups to remove the democraticly elected government. But at least now with the USand other monetary funds moving closer to dealing with a total forgiveness posture
for this debt, something very similar to nearly total forgiveness package like the Martial plan, that Americans created right after World War 11 for Western European nations, this is certainly a cause for some optimism. Of course the USand IMF offered to give Haitianother loan initially in the aftermath of the earthquake….but they changed their tune with the public outcry.
And lastly money attracts so many other problems. How much of this aid will actually benefit the people and what kind of infrastructure will be imposed on Haitito handle this development. Critics point to all the aid that has been given to Haitiyet it remains one of the poorest nations in the Western hemisphere. But we can not blame the victim. There have been larger forces at work that have prevented this money from getting to where it needs to go. From corrupt governments and greed and the vested interests that have wanted to maintain a certain kind of governance in Haiti. In the USthe Haitian community is one of the most organized and successful immigrant populations. So now what. Its obvious that Haitiis crucial to the USrelative to its position in the part of the world with the rise of independent minded South American and Latin American countries and the perpetual thorn of Cuba. Our hopes and efforts must be directed to
Haitibeing able to stand up for itself being able to stand up for itself and make decisions that are in its own interests.
But there are some immediate problems that are facing Haitiand with this we will hear from our guests who just arrived back from Haiti this morning.