Stories about: public health

Addressing the global burden of surgical diseases

mapofhaitiWhile medical care in poor countries, like Haiti, has increased over the last 20 years, surgical care has largely been ignored and has even been labeled “the neglected stepchild of global public health.” Here, Stephen Sullivan, one of Children’s Global Surgery Fellows, discusses his experience delivering surgical care in Haiti.

By Stephen R. Sullivan, MD, MPH

Each morning Sara*, a 63 year-old woman from a rural village in central Haiti, wakes to the call of roosters. On one such morning, she woke in darkness and, like usual, leaned over in her small hut to light her kerosene lamp. Tragically, the lamp had accidentally been filled with gasoline instead of kerosene. It exploded, and Sara suffered severe burns to her face and upper body. She was eight hours away from the nearest clinic, suffering from life-threatening burns.

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