Each morning and evening, at least five days a week, I walk through the pediatric service at Justinien University Hospital on my way to and from the office. I talk with parents and older kids and check in with staff about their day.
At Justinien, newborns make up the largest number of inpatients. They are largely hospitalized for prematurity, intrapartum complications, and infections. Seeing newborns in distress, especially when they first arrive, is difficult. Parents are understandably anxious: the joy of childbirth is suddenly transformed into the worst imaginable scenario for a family.
Yet I am impressed – given the comparatively limited resources that the service has to work with – by the number of seriously ill newborns who are discharged to happy and relieved parents each week.
Among them are Samuel’s parents. Nearly one month ago, Samuel was admitted for severe hypoxia – a birth injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain – and insufficient calcium in his blood. Samuel received the standard cooling therapy for hypoxia and calcium supplements. After several weeks of care on the service, Samuel has gone home with his beaming parents.
Your support makes this possible for hundreds of families in northern Haiti each year.
All the best, and with deepest gratitude,
Tezita Negussie, MSW, MPH
Interim Executive Director