Today is International Day of the Girl, a movement aimed at highlighting, discussing, celebrating, and advancing girls’ lives and opportunities around the world. HAS Haiti contributes to this effort by saving the lives of hundreds of children every year; more than 50 percent of patients in our hospital at any given time are pediatrics patients, and at least half of them are girls. We understand that good health is a necessary foundation for succeeding in school and accessing opportunity.
Meet Loudiana, an 11-year-old student from Ile de la Gonâve, a small Haitian island off the Western coast of the mainland. She enjoys her classes and spending time with friends.
When she began running a fever and complaining of abdominal pain, her father, Emmanuel, and aunt, Camita, took her to their local healthcare center. Unfortunately, the center did not have the ability to make a diagnosis, and referred her to a hospital in Saint Marc, about an hour outside of the HAS service area. There she was stabilized, but was quickly referred to HAS, a hospital known throughout Haiti for its diagnostic and surgical services.
When she finally reached us, her condition had deteriorated; she needed an urgent operation. Our doctors took Loudiana into surgery that night. During the procedure, they found a perforation in her colon causing a large infection along the right side of her belly, extending behind her liver and into her chest. She would certainly have died without the operation.
Despite her poor condition, the HAS surgery team handled the situation, successfully cleaning the infection and repairing the hole in her colon. Just seven days later, she was well on her way to recovery; she could sit up on her own and eating solid food again. Once deemed stable by the doctors, she and her family made the trek back home with a newfound sense of promise.
“If I had a radio station,” Emmanuel said proudly, “I would broadcast the message about HAS around my hometown! I’m so glad we brought her to the hospital. She would have died.” Far from that, Loudiana now has a bright future. She can continue to study, which will open doors for her throughout her life. HAS is proud to have played a part in ensuring future opportunities for Loudiana.
We celebrate the International Day of the Girl with joy, knowing that Loudiana and many other girls in Haiti have the potential to learn and lead productive, happy lives because we are here, 24/7, providing high-quality compassionate healthcare.