Health Care

Herald’s series ‘Cancer in Haiti’ winner of June L. Biedler Prize for cancer journalism

Miami Herald correspondent Jacqueline Charles discusses her reporting in Haiti

"If people don't know that the problem exists, then how can you even begin to find a solution?" Miami Herald Caribbean correspondent Jacqueline Charles discusses the Cancer in Haiti series.
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"If people don't know that the problem exists, then how can you even begin to find a solution?" Miami Herald Caribbean correspondent Jacqueline Charles discusses the Cancer in Haiti series.

The Miami Herald’s series, “Cancer in Haiti,” has received The American Association for Cancer Research’s June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism (Large newspaper), the organization announced Tuesday.

Through their reporting, published in a four-part series in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Herald staff writer Jacqueline Charles and Herald photojournalist José A. Iglesias “shine a light on the lack of cancer care — including no radiation therapy — in Haiti, just 700 miles from well-resourced Miami,” the AACR said in its announcement.

In harrowing detail — there is just one MRI in a country of 11 million — Charles gives a comprehensive account of the lack of healthcare resources in Haiti, where radiation treatment does not exist and early-detection programs are limited. Cervical cancer, she says, is nearly always a “death sentence,” and the only patients who can seek help are those wealthy enough to leave the country to do so.

Through his documentary-style videography and photography, Iglesias gives readers the chance to see Haiti’s healthcare crisis from the front lines.

Two teenage boys in Haiti have advanced forms of cancers with high survival rates. One of them has treatment in Miami and the other is struggling to get treatment in a broken healthcare system in Haiti.

The AACR Biedler Prize is named after June L. Biedler, a recipient of the 1992 AACR G.H.A Clowes Memorial Award for outstanding achievements in laboratory cancer research and a pioneer in the field. The award is supported by a bequest Biedler made to the AACR, where she once served as a board member.

Charles, who has reported on the Caribbean for the Miami Herald since 2006, won the 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prize — the most prestigious award for coverage of the Americas and the oldest award in international journalism.

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