Dec 2, 2010
A preliminary word on medical stories
I have to admit that this project is a little frightening. Bureaucracies the world over do not like their problems being revealed, and by far the most common reaction is to shoot the messenger. Peace Corps policy makes it clear that we serve at the pleasure of the Country Director, and their regulations concerning blogs are written loosely enough that most any blogger could probably be sent home on some trumped-up violation. Mostly they say that bloggers should avoid host country political controversies or making statements that could be interpreted as being culturally insensitive, in that they might damage the Peace Corps' reputation in the host country. While this series might be construed as embarrassing, particularly in the USA, in my opinion the existence of such glaring incompetence is the far more serious problem. Volunteers who have been subjected to bad care are not silent about it back home, and their stories to their friends and relatives back home befoul Peace Corps' reputation far worse than some unknown blogger ever could.
In any case, I will not be publishing anyone's name, either volunteer or staff. My goal is to give readers a flavor of what the scene has been like here, in the hopes of sparking a discussion about how to fix it.