Ten-year-old Dieufait Dor lay in a dirty hospital cot with a fractured hip, squirming in pain. Tetanus had invaded his body, and his father had no money to buy medicine needed to save his life.

"At night, I lie on the floor beside him. At dawn, before getting up to check on him, I pray first that Dieufait is still alive," 45-year-old Sauveur Dor said as he pulled back a sheet, exposing Dieufait's swollen hip.The U.S. removal of army rulers in September raised hopes that Haiti would have democracy. The streets are now safe from army thugs, but conditions remain disastrous at Haiti's filthy, chaotic State University Hospital.

The hospital lacks everything from running water to bandages.

Patients die because the overcrowded 700-bed hospital - Haiti's largest - has no medicine to save them. Desperate doctors resort to writing prescriptions - if they have the paper - but relatives are often penniless anyway.

Patients often die of diseases caught from other patients.

In early 1995, the U.S. Agency for International Development will give Haiti $2.9 million for maternal and child health care, some of it earmarked for the hospital, said Sara Clark, deputy director of the USAID mission.

Dieufait was injured last month near the southern port of Jacmel when his family's shack collapsed during Tropical Storm Gordon, which killed more than 1,100 people.

He was in agony for eight days in the hospital before a foreign visitor gave his father the $21 needed for antibiotics and other drugs. Dor bolted to a nearby pharmacy. Last week, Dieufait was recovering.

One in four youngsters who enter the pediatric ward dies. Most suffer from malnutrition, diarrhea, dehydration and other conditions that are curable in other places but often deadly in the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation.

In one corner, a young father stares at his dying baby, kept warm by the beam of an old lamp - a makeshift incubator. Nearby, a screaming infant girl with a bloated stomach is ignored.

In a rusty cot in the area reserved for abandoned children, an emaciated 3-week-old boy lies with his head hanging limply through the bars.

Most of the children are naked, with rags as bedding.

"We don't have enough personnel. We don't have enough milk to quell their hunger," said Dr. Gislaine Heurtelou, the young chief resident of the pediatric ward, a one-story concrete building built in 1921.

She and the other underpaid, overworked resident doctors and interns who run the hospital are devoted, well-trained professionals. But they have only their bare hands to work with.

Columbia University-trained director Roger Derosena described the state of his hospital as "abominable."