Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tuberculosis in Haiti

Jack Stern 10B
Tuberculosis in Haiti

Have you ever felt that you never had to worry about catching any dangerous diseases because you lived in the U.S. where there are vaccines for most dangerous diseases? Have you ever seen ads on T.V. about people suffering with deadly diseases in other countries, which are curable in the U.S. and not cared? Well you should care and you should be willing to do anything in your power to help people suffering from deadly diseases. Tuberculosis is one of the world’s deadliest diseases; in fact over a third of the world’s population is infected with it each year. Tuberculosis is a very serious infectious disease caused by bacteria, and you can easily get it if you’re around someone who has it for too long. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also attack several other parts of the body. One in ten people who get tuberculosis see it evolve into an active disease, which if left untreated for too long can easily kill you. On January 12th, 2010, Haiti was hit with a category 7 earthquake leaving thousands of people dead and thousands more injured and lying around the shattered streets of Haiti. Not only was a lot of the Haitian country destroyed, but also the Haitians were left without resources to help the injured people recover. As a result of this, Haiti has not been a very sanitary country and thousands upon thousands have died because they haven’t received the proper treatment.
In Haiti, Tuberculosis is particularly gruesome. According to, in Haiti over 6,800 people die each year of tuberculosis and over 29,300 people get Tuberculosis each year in Haiti. According to Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology from the Chicago Journal, there have been over 3,500 Tuberculosis related deaths in Haiti following the earthquake- many of which were preventable. The article go’s on to talk about how many Tuberculosis infected patients were “coughing and wheezing” many days in a row simply because the right treatment wasn’t available to them. The article goes on to talk about how some Haitians got infected with and died from Tuberculosis just from being around the people who had it. This in itself is ridiculous and shows how awful the situation in Haiti really is. It shows how awful the situation is because not only are many people suffering from tuberculosis mightily, but many people are dying from something that is easily curable in the U.S., and several other countries, which is straight up outrageous.
        In order to help Haiti and people in Haiti with Tuberculosis, people have done several things. According to the Huffington Post’s website, ( non-profit organizations such as helping hands for Haiti have helped to fly in medical materials needed to help people in Haiti with contagious diseases such as Tuberculosis. Also some people in the medical field have dedicated their lives to doing medical work, assisting, treating and helping patients, recover from infectious diseases. In “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder, Kidder describes how Harvard Medical School graduate Dr. Paul Farmer went down to Haiti, and sacrificed most of his own personal time and personal comfort so that people in Haiti could receive the best possible medical attention. Kidder writes: “His day begins at dawn in the lower courtyard beside the ambulatory clinic. At night I would see in the moonlight the shapes of perhaps a hundred people sleeping there on the ground…as Farmer comes in through the gate, dressed in his Haiti clothes- black jeans and a t-shirt- a part of the crowd advances on him.” (Kidder, 19, 20). The fact that Farmer everyday started his day at the crack of dawn, in order work vigorously to help hundreds of people with a variety of gruesome sicknesses shows how committed Paul Farmer is to helping the Haitians. It shows this because instead of sleeping later, getting paid well, and going through a casual day with breaks like many doctors at hospitals do, he was willing to wake up early, get paid poorly, and do everything humanly possible to treat Haitians with a wide array of infectious diseases because he cared about giving them proper medical treatment, and proper medical resources. People such as Dr. Paul Farmer have helped because they have given sick Haitian’s the proper medical care, and proper medical resources, which may or may not have not been available to them before he arrived in Haiti.
        Although, not everyone is able/willing to physically go down to Haiti and volunteer by helping to take care of tuberculosis patients, which is understandable for a variety of reasons, you can still help take care of tuberculosis patients in Haiti in other ways. Firstly, there are a variety of different of charities that you can donate money to which will all benefit Haiti/the tuberculosis problem in Haiti. If you log on to, you can learn about how to donate money to the struggling country of Haiti and how you can donate money to them so that they can have cleaner hospitals, more safe, running drinking water, a house to live in, and overall have a better chance of not getting tuberculosis, as well as other infectious diseases. Another fantastic charity that you can donate to would be AmeriCares. AmeriCares specializes in giving medical help to struggling countries, many of which are recovering from disasters. Although it has been several years since the earthquake in Haiti, they are still struggling and still receiving a lot of medical aid from AmeriCares. Donating even a small sum of money to either of these charities would benefit Haiti greatly, and help to cure/prevent infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis from entering Haiti.

"CDC | TB | Archived Guidance on Earthquake Response." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2013.
"Handling Tuberculosis in Haiti - Salem-News.Com." Salem-News.Com News from Salem Oregon and the surrounding region.. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2013.
Karabanow, Anthony. "                     Tuberculosis in Haiti - The CRUDEM Foundation, Inc.   ."                     The CRUDEM Foundation - The CRUDEM Foundation, Inc.   . N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2013.

-This is an article that I got off of jstor, which is a online article archive.


  1. It was very informative but I think that maybe you shouldn't write in the op-ed where you got your info because that's all going to be in the bibliography, you should just state the facts. This op-ed made me think about all the other ones I just read and why we don't hear about things like this that much. Its like its kept in secret.

  2. you have a lot of great information on your disease. it looks like you have done a lot of research and you have a lot of background information. one thing you should do is include something about you book. relate your book to this OP-ED. something else you should do is add some of your personal opinions and reactions not just all facts.

  3. I agree with you that this should not be overlooked. The media almost filters what here and don't here. I also agree that because we do have more resources in the U.S we are more likely to say" thats not my problem" but we shouldnt which you support with plenty of evidence. Good Job.