Charo's Check-Ups

April 10, 2017

Four-year-old Charo Tatin comes to HEI/SBH’s Villa Clinic once a month for check-ups. He and his mother make the long journey from their home in the small community of Benjamin to get his iron levels checked. Charo has been suffering from anemia, which is being treated by Dr. Dubreus and the caring staff at the Villa Clinic.

Once a month for three months Charo will come to the clinic to get his blood levels tested and pick up his medication. This is a big commitment for the family, to come so far and spend most of the day traveling, waiting to see the doctor, and then waiting again for test results and the pharmacy. Yet they take the time to ensure that Charo grows up healthy. Charo even wears his best outfit to his appointment. It’s a big occasion to come to the clinic!

Anemia is often caused by a diet that is deficient in iron and other key nutrients, so Dr. Dubreus and the Villa staff counsel Charo’s mother on ways to make sure he gets all of the nutrients he needs in his diet. And during his exams, Dr. Dubreus also checks Charo’s general health and wellbeing, making sure he is growing properly and otherwise healthy. At the first check-up, he noticed that Charo’s chest is a bit uneven, so he will be monitoring that to make sure it is not an indication of a more serious problem. 

Access to primary care like what Charo receives at the Villa Clinic is all-to-uncommon in rural southern Haiti. The difficulty of traveling to clinics that provide these services, and the limited number that offer care free-of-charge, as Villa does to nearly all patients, combine to make basic primary care something that many people simply cannot get. Thankfully, Charo Tatin is able to come to Villa. His anemia should be resolved with good ongoing care, and we have every hope he will grow up healthy and happy, knowing he can always return to Villa for his future health care needs. 

Aerial view of Villa Clinic, a clean rectangular concrete building high in the mountains, with palm trees behind.