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Helping his homeland


Dr. Edriss Estime

Dr. Edriss Estime is returning to his native country of Haiti to volunteer his services to a people who are still reeling from the effects of the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Estime, South Amana, an internist with Marengo Memorial Hospital, said he is going to Haiti “because I have to.”

“It is just something I should be doing right now,” he said.

Estime was born in Haiti and lived there until the age of 12. He said he still has many relatives and friends in the island nation, more than he can count, but luckily they all survived the earthquake.

An organization called Partners In Health has been aiding Haiti residents with their health needs, and Estime leaves Saturday, March 27, to join the cause of the organization.

He said surgeons stabilized most of the earthquake’s victims immediately following the catastrophe. Now that the emergency work is done, Estime said long-term medical care is still needed. He said he will probably be helping patients with their antibiotics regiments, help with other ailments and provide advice to patients and doctors.

“We will be doing the minor, fine-tuning work,” Estime said.

While he said he is going to Haiti out of a sense of duty, Estime said he is actually dreading the trip, because he knows some of the people he will be helping are relatives.

“I try not to think about it too much. It’s not going to be pleasant, to be honest,” Estime said. “I wouldn’t mind going to Bangladesh or Somalia, not to sound insensitive, but to be seeing a face so familiar. I will definitely be treating extended relatives, it’s a guarantee.”

Estime will return from his 10-day trip April 6.

If Internet access is available, you may follow Dr. Estime’s progress on the Marengo Memorial Hospital facebook page or the Marengo Pioneer Republican facebook page.

To learn more about Partners in Health, visit the Web site

UPDATED March 24, 2010 11:47 AM

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