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Haiti

Posted Jan 15 2010 12:00am

Dear readers,

I know that most of you have been inundated recently with the news of the earthquake in Haiti and appeals to send aid, especially in the form of monetary donations.  Normally, in such a case, I would leave well enough alone–but Haiti is different.  Haiti is usually designated the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.  Haiti has had a long and sordid history with other nations that has usually left Haiti worse off than previously.  The world has not been kind to Haiti and now a crippling earthquake has destroyed much of Haitian society.

I am especially interested in Haiti because of the work of an organization called Partners in Health.  I read a life changing book called Pathologies of Power a few months ago by Dr. Paul Farmer.  He co-founded Partners in Health, is a professor at Harvard University, and is the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti.  His work (written and and on-the-ground) is inspiring to me as a student of Bioethics.  Partners in Health administers 10 health care facilities in Haiti (outside of Port-au-Prince) based on a model of critical consciousness.  In other words, the aid provided is that which they (the locals) decide they need rather than what outsiders deems appropriate.  This is a highly successful and respectful means of ensuring the dignity of individuals and their culture, and the success of care provided.

Now that this earthquake has devastated Haiti, the facilities run by Partners in Health are still standing and functioning–and, indeed, they are likely the largest single provider of health care at this point in Haiti.  Because their facilities are located outside of Port-au-Prince they stand to be able to do more for the thousands of injured in Haiti than virtually anyone else.  I myself have donated to Partners in Health because they need supplies now more than ever.  I implore of you to please follow the link below and spare what money you can–even if it is only a few dollars!–to a very worthy organization.  Please help your fellow man out in such a terrible time.  Thank you for reading–and please donate!  Tell your friends!

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