Haitian HIV clinic weathers storms

The trio of hurricanes that raked across Haiti recently left the linkurl:HIV/AIDS clinic that I visited;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54367/ there earlier this year battered but not broken. While Gustav, Hanna, and Ike wrought widespread destruction across the country and killed hundreds of people, the Haitian Study Group on Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections (GHESKIO) clinic in Port-au-Prince continues to function, according to the center's director linkurl:Jean Pape.;

By | September 17, 2008

The trio of hurricanes that raked across Haiti recently left the linkurl:HIV/AIDS clinic that I visited;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54367/ there earlier this year battered but not broken. While Gustav, Hanna, and Ike wrought widespread destruction across the country and killed hundreds of people, the Haitian Study Group on Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections (GHESKIO) clinic in Port-au-Prince continues to function, according to the center's director linkurl:Jean Pape.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54384/ I e-mailed Pape asking how things were with the clinic as Hanna moved north of the country and made way for Ike. His answer reinforced for me the resilience and perseverance with which Pape and his colleagues do their jobs. "Most of Haiti's territory is affected: the South and South-East by Gustav and the North and North East by Hanna," Pape wrote. "Fortunately at GHESKIO we lost parts of the roof of three buildings but we have been able to function." Exacerbating the damage done by raging flood waters brought by the storms were Haiti's naked hillsides. Haiti is almost completely stripped of its natural forests. About 98% of the impoverished country's native vegetation has been cleared to make charcoal. Pape wrote that near his home in the mountains above Port-au-Prince, the storms scoured many power poles and trees from the landscape. In addition to his work at GHESKIO, Pape is involved in reforestation projects throughout the country. "In one area where I have initiated a reforestation project there are hundreds of pine trees that have been lost," he wrote of the hurricanes' destruction. "It is the battle of man versus nature. It just means that we must plant more." There are several organizations (including linkurl:Doctors Without Borders,;http://doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=3098&gclid=CJX0pu6O45UCFQK0GgodDF8Nfg linkurl:Direct Relief International,;https://secure2.convio.net/dri/site/Donation2?idb=137039094&1170.donation=form1&df_id=1170&JServSessionIdr012=hq3etp0hf1.app43b and the linkurl:American Red Cross);http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ggl_main&s_subsrc=DonateToRedCross&s_src=F7FWE001&gclid=CLGS0duP45UCFQObFQodRh2zdw accepting donations for hurricane victims in Haiti and elsewhere.

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