Nia Haf Photography

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Hospital Juan XXIII

During my last 2 weeks in La Paz I have been visiting a number of hospitals in the city photographing for the AAVia Foundation. These images come from Hospital Juan XXIII, a general hospital in the northern part of La Paz, close to the neighbouring city of El Alto. During my time there I shadowed Dr. Hector Mejia, a paediatrician who has worked medically in Bolivia for 20 years . Dr. Mejia studied in La Paz and also undertook specialised courses within his field in Chile, Italy and New York. For 10 years he worked for Unicef, before relations between the charity and the government soured. Mondays to Thursdays Dr. Mejia works at Hospital Juan XXIII and on Fridays he is based in another city hospital in the Miraflores district called Hospital Del Niño (Hospital of the Children).

As I was shadowing a paediatrician the images I took look at the children’s wards, the ICU for premature babies and the youngsters outpatients centre. These were difficult scenes to photograph; young, helplessly tiny babies and terminally ill children, but the care, love and devotion of the staff was evident throughout the hospital. Bathing the babies, cradling crying children, comforting concerned parents and giving the vital medical attention that is required daily. The small selection of frames below are images of hope, though they may appear on the surface to be images of sadness, I urge you to remember that these are fortunate children, receiving great care.

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(Part of a larger body of work looking at paediatric care in Bolivia.)

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