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Maria Bello

Maria Bello

Posted: January 22, 2010 03:44 PM

St. Damien's in Haiti: A Calm Admist the Storm?

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This is the second post in Maria Bello's continuing series from Haiti. Read Part I of the series now.

St. Damien's is the calm in the midst of a storm. Arriving here yesterday with Sean and Diana's team of incredible doctors, we were surprised at the lack of chaos and the efficiency of many volunteers and aid groups working together. The teams of doctors who have been embedded here for the last week were more than relieved to see a new set of faces so they could finally get some sleep. Many of the teams here were immediately deployed by Partners in Health the day the earthquake hit.

Partners in Health, founded by the brilliant Paul Farmer, has been working on the ground in Haiti for 20 years. They bring modern medical support to poor communities in the countryside and manage free community health clinics all over the country.

Lack of medication is still a huge problem here. In the childrens' ward yesterday a six year old girl with a newly amputated arm was being treated for pain with nothing more than Tylenol. Dr. Delatre Lolo, a Haitian doctor now living in the States is a team member of JP Haiti relief organization. He told me this morning after working through the night, "we are seeing mostly amputations and it is very sad because most of them could have been avoided with quicker response and medication."

The urgent needs here: narcotics, morphine, Vicodin, basic surgical equipment and an airlift out for 20 spinal cord injury patients who will die without neurosurgery.

We are off to the slums today to check the damage on our 22 street schools, maternal clinic and greenhouse. Will keep you all updated and send photos with that.
Haiti Tent Camps
A tent city in Haiti, home to over 40,000 people.