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August 21, 1987

Third-World Interloper

Author Affiliations

Indian Health Service White Earth Reservation Detroit Lakes, Minn

Indian Health Service White Earth Reservation Detroit Lakes, Minn

JAMA. 1987;258(7):912. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400070050031

To the Editor.—  In the article entitled "Third-World Interloper," Dr Riesenberg,1 in concluding that "there are wrong ways to use resources, even in a situation of desperate need," implies that resources are being wasted at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti. I hope he does not mean that.As former medical director of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital (from 1984 to 1986), I know that thousands are being offered some hope in a program that seeks to minister medically both in the preventive and therapeutic areas. Tremendous advances have been made on a shoestring budget.It is not important that "Haiti is no richer for [Dr Riesenberg's] visit." What is important is that the admirable effort, continuing under Dr and Mrs Larimer Mellon, goes on day in and day out. Preventive efforts continue and expand, but until they take full effect those who are acutely ill with preventable diseases must