The situation is unbearable says the doctor. Under a tent that is fully open on the four sides, Dr Kobel Dubique of Partners in Health examines patients one after the other. Dr Kobel runs the Health Center, in partnership with the Haitian Red Cross, at Park Jean Mary Vincent, a former park in Port-au-Prince. People sought refuge here after the earthquake, building their own shelters and tents with any material they could find: wood, plastic, metal. Very few UN tents can be seen, and 50,000 people have been here since the 12 January. The health center is a much needed resource for the Camp and is located at one extremity, near an amusement area with a few basketball courts and giant screens.

Partners in Health

Dr Kobel was educated in Cuba. After the earthquake he set up this medical centre, calling up many of his friends which were also doctors. Six of them work here every day to assist the long queue of people from the camp who come here for medical care.

Dr Kobel looks exhausted as he visits a little girl with some pain in her stomach. He takes his time to repeat instructions good three times to the girl’s mother. He also accompanied his words with such clear mimics that we fiured it out even without understanding Kreyol. Despite several months working in these conditions, Dr Kobel keeps going with incredible energy.

Dr Kobel – The work conditions

Under the same tent, the other doctors of the team do the same work. Each has a table, two chairs, and some basic tools. The queue is orderly, people are mostly mothers with babies and children, and they all sit on the ground, close to one another to be under the shade.

On this sunny day, the main problem is caused by heat, well over 35° at 10am. But what happens on stormy days, when rain and wind surely make any kind of examination impossible? We promised Dr Kobel to come back and see with our own eyes.