Waiting for Care – Dondon, Haiti Adam Bacher
Waiting for Care
A photographic essay of people waiting to be seen at a one day mobile medical clinic in the northern village of Dondon, Haiti.
Living in abject poverty and lacking access to basic healthcare, over 1,000 people showed up for a chance to see one of four doctors visiting with a US based group of medical professionals. When the team arrived just after sunrise, on November 11th, 2011, more than 500 people were already waiting for care. Within two hours the crowd swelled to well over a thousand. By the end of the day 410 patients were treated. Three of the people in these photographs were seen by doctors, five of them were not. The status of the other two is unknown.
For the last three years I’ve accompanied a small medical team from the Haitian Caribbean American Organization of Texas, for a one week medical mission to northern Haiti. Before sunrise each morning the team leaves its base in Cap Haitian, drives to a rural location, sets up a medical clinic, and treats hundreds of people. The day ends at sunset because no electricity is available. The clinic is then packed up and the team returns home ready to do it all over again in a new location the next day.
The results are astonishing. After five exhausting days nearly 1500 people are seen by doctors, given a thorough medical examination, and supplied with needed medications. Equally astonishing are the numbers of people who show up for a chance to be seen at the clinics, and how long they’re willing to wait. On any given day more than twice as many people will show up, waiting for care, than the team is able to treat.