THE BLOG

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

03/24/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

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.