I awoke this morning early, because that’s what you do when you sleep outside. But my alarm clock was again those beautiful Haitian voices singing from the house behind us.
Today, my goal was to use my local Haitian friends to find those hospitals and clinics that may have been overlooked by other organizations. I met with partners from World Help, who we’ve shipped two shipments of medical aid through to distribute at the medical triage center at the Port-au-Prince airport.
Dr. Gerrier took me to Leogane to the Hospital Cardinal Leger. This is a catholic hospital that was almost completely destroyed by the quake. The building where they stored their medical supplies and equipment was collapsed and in pieces. I could still see boxes and shelves with medical supplies smashed under the rubble. This hospital is going to have to be completely rebuilt.
In the meantime, several aid organizations have taken over the operations here, and have set up tent hospitals to treat patients. I spoke with one of the aid doctors, who said many of the patients they are seeing now are “the walking well”, or general medical patients and few recovering earthquake victims.
I also spoke to the nuns who ran the hospital before the quake, and where I see MedShare having the most impact is when these aid doctors pack up their tents and go home. Sister Josephine said the aid organizations would be operating until mid-March, and then they’re on their own. Again, this hospital will have to be completely restocked, rebuilt, re-everything. Replenishing those supplies, hospital beds, biomedical equipment, etc. is how MedShare will help the Hospital Cardinal Leger get up and running again.
As far as immediate needs, the living conditions in Haiti are a health hazard, and everyone, everywhere in Haiti are screaming for “TENTS!” At the hospital in Leogane, I spoke with a man who was sifting through the hospital garbage looking for pieces of plastic tarp to build a makeshift tent for him, his wife and their seven children!