Haitian doctor with US ties committed to improving health care for poor neighborhood

Dr. Moise Arnaud Cely, director, Sarthe Neighborhood Medical Clinic. (CNS/Bob Roller)

SARTHE, Haiti — The second floor of his medical clinic is gone, thanks to the Jan. 12 earthquake, yet Dr. Moise Arnaud Cely continues to see patients in the only medical clinic in a forgotten corner of this community mired deep in poverty.

Assisted by two nurses, including his wife, Cely continues to see 75 patients a day in what remains of the Sarthe Neighborhood Medical Clinic. His equipment is limited: scale, blood pressure cup, stethoscope, microscope, bandages and dwindling medications.

Patients wait for treatment inside on well-worn chairs and outside on weathered benches

“We need a lot of medicine because here it is very difficult to find more became most of the buildings where you could buy medicine have been damaged,” Cely told Catholic News Service today.

Fewer of Cely’s patients from this walled neighborhood with rutted rocky roads are arriving these days with untreated broken bones and deep gashes now that its more than three weeks since the quake. Now he’s seeing people experiencing diarrhea and vomiting caused by water-born diseases exacerbated by hunger.

“They look very weak,” he said.

He expects the number of people with such symptoms to continue increasing until adequate food and water are available.

The clinic is supported by the Haitian Development Fund, whose president, Dr. Brent DeLand, is a parishioner at Christ the King Church in Springfield, Ill. The two doctors met in 2002 while delivering health care in Cite Soleil, an extremely poor neighborhood wracked by violence in nearby Port-au-Prince.

DeLand is due to arrive in Haiti, perhaps as early as the end of February, to assess what repairs are needed at the clinic before the rainy season begins in April.

When Cely is not seeing patients he cleans debris from the upper floor of the concrete-block building. Judging by how mangled the roof and wall supports are, he’s going to need a lot of help.

One Response

  1. Beneath the Rubble – Deuteronomy 33:27

    Where’s my Hope…beneath the rubble?
    Where do I find Strength in this complete destruction?
    How can Courage exist when death surrounds me?
    How can I see God, in the faces of despair?

    “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms”

    In the fallen buildings, I am in the dust
    In the eyes of orphans, I am the innocent reflection
    In the fresh laid tombs, I am still eternal Life
    In the souls of the lost, I am the Grace to press on

    “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms”

    I am the hands that dig and rescue
    I am the head that’s bowed in prayer
    I am the cries of those who suffer
    I am the doctor giving desperate care

    Look into the darkness, I am still redeeming Light
    In the harrowing brokenness, I am still the Great Physician
    For my lost and lonely children, I am still the air they breathe
    I remain your everlasting arms of Love… beneath the rubble

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