Developing Capacity for Sustainable Orthopedic Treatment in Haiti
After the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, medical professionals and volunteers raced from every corner of the world to provide aid for the wounded. Since this tragedy and the outpouring of support that followed, the international community has learned many important lessons in the wake of disasters in developing nations. One crucial area is how to create capacity for sustainable medical treatment in Haiti and especially the improvement of orthopedic care. This review covers a brief history of orthopedic surgery in Haiti, examines the ethical considerations of foreign physicians and personnel operating and practicing in Haiti, highlights influential physicians currently making a difference in Haiti, and analyzes the lessons learned for building a sustainable foundation of orthopedics. The methodology utilized in this project is a comprehensive review of the scholarly literature and popular press. These findings suggest that a more permanent and stable orthopedic presence is required in Haiti both for the future of the citizens and in preparation of another natural disasters. This presence will be accomplished in part through increased global assistance and better pay and conditions for natural-born Haitian orthopedists.