Friday, September 12, 2008

Haiti in 7 Days

Only 7 more days will we head to Cap Haitien, Haiti to give eye exams. Will they need it? They just got destroyed by 4 hurricanes...eye exams are probaly the least of their worries. But who knows. We'll see. So still need a list of stuff to bring and bug spray with DEET is at the top of the list.

Now many people don't really know what DEET exactly is or what the % means, so I thought I'd blog about it. Deet basically blocks the insects "smell" and confuses the insects to not bite humans. Found this good research paper from NEJM over here:
The results were basically DEET-based products provided complete protection for the longest duration. Higher concentrations of DEET provided longer-lasting protection. So 100% DEET will protect up to 12 hrs and 30% DEET will last 6hrs.
So far the highest DEET I've found was 40%. I'm still trying to look for a higher one!

So how is DEET gonna help me in Haiti? Apart from the kidnappings, hurricanes, flooding, riots, I'm hoping to avoid Dengue fever which is transmitted by a mosquito that hunts during the day. What's so scary about this fever? There's no vaccine or real treatments, only supportive therapy! So what else is out there? Malaria, Hepatitis, Typhoid. Vaccines for all of them. Check.

Some videos of what I expect to see.

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