WHEN HAITI IS HOME
Who turns down the opportunity to emigrate to a prosperous country, especially with the income and prestige a doctor receives? Feeling a sense of duty and a desire to have an impact, Dr. Regina DuPerval is choosing to stay. For her, Haiti is home.
This is a story about the human resources crisis in health care. Countries with greater opportunity aren’t producing enough medical personnel, creating opportunities for citizens of countries with less opportunity to migrate.. This "brain drain" not only affects our global response to epidemics like ebola, but our ability to care for vulnerable and impoverished communities across the world.
Read about DuPerval, and her American and Kenyan colleagues facing similar issues, at Bright Magazine.
Director: Tim Matsui
Producer: Tim Matsui
Cinematography: Tim Matsui
Editor: Tim Matsui
Haiti was a stopover in between Brazil and Cuba during the summer months of 2016. I planned for nine days of work at St. Damien's Pediatric Hospital in Port au Prince. Since I was entering Cuba as a tourist--not a journalist--I had a very light kit with me.
A pediatrician friend connected me with a young male doctor who stated he was willing to share his story. Unfortunately, after a few days, he felt it was better for his situation to withdraw from the story.
Dr. DuPerval worked in the same hospital. As long as I went light on the politics (healthcare is very politicized and she feared violent reprisal) she was willing to participate. However that evening I came down with a high fever and severe G-I distress lasting 36 hours. Fortunately, it wasn't cholera.
With my tight schedule, I pulled myself out of bed as soon as possible, hobbling back to the hospital to film DuPerval at work. Later that day I conducted an interview and the next day was off to Cuba.
While the story didn't work out as planned, it provided insight into the human resources crisis in healthcare. After years of focusing on human trafficking, it is a welcome 'new' beat.