Today marks six months since the tragic earthquake that struck Haiti, claiming over 230,000 lives, injuring more than 300,000 and leaving 1.5 million people homeless.
For the past six months, we’ve stood by the statement: “We were helping Haiti before the earthquake, and we will continue to help Haiti as they struggle to rebuild.” As we reflect on the course of events that have unfolded since January 12th, MedShare had emergency medical supplies on the ground in Haiti just three days after the earthquake.
We had two big challenges facing us those first crucial days and weeks following the earthquake: time and logistics. Medical supplies was the number one needed resource in Haiti to treat life-threatening injuries and infections, and time was of the essence. With the ports damaged and the aid being bottlenecked, coordinating logistics of getting the supplies in doctors hands was almost a round-the-clock effort.
With the help of dedicated staff, volunteers and financial donors, MedShare stepped up to the challenge to get 11 shipments of requested emergency medical supplies in Haiti within 15 days after the earthquake hit. That means over 132,000 pounds of vitally-needed medical supplies got to various hospitals and medical clinics to treat victims and save lives. To date, we’ve shipped a total of 25 forty-foot containers of requested medical supplies and equipment to various hospitals and relief organizations in Haiti treating patients effected by the January 12th earthquake. That’s over 150 tons of medical aid!
Just days after the quake, we began providing free medical supplies to a flood of medical mission teams going to Haiti for earthquake relief. During those first weeks, we outfitted almost 20 medical mission teams with over 3,700 pounds of medical supplies to treat earthquake victims in Haiti. In the past six months, we’ve provided 83 medical mission teams working in Haiti with over 14,000 pounds of medical supplies.
These medical supplies helped treat and save thousands of lives, like 11-year-old Roovens Monchil. He was at the bottom of a three-level house that collapsed on top of him during the earthquake. He sustained a life-threatening crush injury to his femur and several flesh wounds. Roovens was operated on several times by a surgical team using medical supplies they collected from MedShare. Ultimately, Roovens was transferred to the USNS Comfort for more specialized care, but it was the collaboration of many efforts that saved this boy’s life.
We see hope in the smiles of the Haitian people and the resilience of their spirits. With the help of many, MedShare continues to respond to the medical needs in Haiti. We have more shipments planned to hospitals like Adventist Hospital in Carrefour and St. Damien’s Pediatric Hospital. In August, our biomedical engineer, Eben Amstrong will travel to Haiti to evaluate medical equipment we’ve shipped to various hospitals and to train staff on how to repair and operate equipment.