Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update on Haiti Earthquake Relief: Report from the Field

Photo above: Partners' Farmer to Farmer Staff Benito Jasmin and Gerard Michel Joseph (Papy) unload medical supplies

Dear Partners of the Americas Members, Friends, and Collaborators,

Two weeks have passed since the tragic earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. With this letter, Partners of the Americas would like to share with you a “report from the field” describing the efforts taken by Partners’ program staff in Haiti to use donations for immediate relief to earthquake victims.

Cap Haitien

January 22, 2010

Thanks to everyone. Finally the banks are open and I [Benito Jasmin, Farmer to Farmer Country Coordinator] have started paying back the pharmacy that has been lending us medicine and supplies on credit.

Sincerely we did a great job, supplying the two main hospitals in the North of Haiti, Hôpital Justinien and Hôpital Crudem de Milot, with medicine they need. We bought what they asked of us from the list they gave us. We have supplied the emergency center in Hôpital Justinien and also the orthopedics center with what they needed during the past 7 days.

The most important thing we have done is to buy the drugs for all the victims arriving from Port au Prince. We had a team offering this service from bed to bed, taking care of every case. We lost 3 patients because of a lack of blood and we saved 58. We have been taking care of 275 victims in Cap-Haitien and 126 in Milot.

We also helped by [purchasing gasoline and] sending 27 buses to Port au Prince, helping people move back to the North or to leave Port au Prince. Even so, we still have a lot of people to evacuate but we have no way to keep doing that. We have helped by feeding more than 10,780 victims. We are still feeding 221 patients and taking care of 21 patients.

Today we have officially stopped feeding the majority of victims, because we have so many people in Haiti now helping, that we don't think it's necessary. Most of them are receiving medical care and food. The surprise is over. It is time for us to plan better our help for the future.

We set up a music and poem contest [at Radio Nirvana], and a lot of poems and music bands are on the line. We are working now on setting up a psychology center to help the victims in and outside of the hospital.

What we haven’t been able to do is to feed the medical personal, because we don't have enough money. This need is still necessary and it costs about USD $1,000 for Justinien (117 medical staff per day) and USD $2,000 a day for Milot (323 staff). We hope that feeding them will help them concentrate - all of them are also victims, but unfortunately most of the other victims depend on their support. We still also have a need for bags to collect blood. We do have [blood] donors, but not enough blood bags and blood test kits.

The donations sent to Haiti to date, totaling $17,000, came from Partners of the Americas’ Haiti Earthquake Fund, Friends of Haiti (based in Green Bay, Wisconsin), Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, the New Jersey Beekeepers Association and some individual Farmer to Farmer volunteers. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all of our chapters, volunteers, friends, and partner organizations who combined their energy and resources to make this support possible. Funds continue to be raised and will be used to support the team in Cap Haitien and for other groups operating in Port-au-Prince.

In addition to the ways in which your donation has made a difference in Haiti, the above report highlights two pressing needs: the need to provide for the medical staff and the need for blood bags and test kits. Your continued donations are greatly appreciated in Haiti. For other ways to assist Haiti, please visit the Partners website: http://www.partners.net/Haiti

Thank you!

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