A Port-au-Prince gas station owner sat outside of what was left of a local clinic after escaping a propane fire that engulfed his body in flames following the Jan. 14 Haitian earthquake.
With an estimated wait time of 12 days for even life-threatening injuries, the clinic was overflowing and under-supplied. After five days of agonizing pain resulting as more than half of his body being severely burned, the gas station owner’s family caught word that a lifeline was just an hour-and-a-half away from the capitol.
A medical team has logistically stationed itself in the Good Samaritan Hospital in Jimaní, a small town located just across the Haiti/Dominican Republic border.
While up to 1,800 victims flood the hospital, it serves as a relief for Port-au-Prince’s crumbled clinics with limited supplies and makeshift shelters.
A.B. Short, founder of MedShare, was on the ground in Haiti just one day after the quake. The nonprofit organization partners with medical missions around the world to recycle surplus medical equipment for use in developing countries.
According to Holly Frew, spokesperson for MedShare, the company received an onslaught of requests from its Haitian partners after the earthquake.
Along with a staff of volunteers, Short filled a small jet to the brim with 55 boxes of medical supplies. The team landed in Santo Domingo, making transportation of medical supplies easier as the runway in Port-au-Prince was heavily damaged and packed with government aid organizations from around the world.
Despite the hospital’s location, Frew says it’s still mass chaos as necessary supplies are not being distributed properly.
“We have shipped eight containers of medical supplies, but we are having problems with them getting in the hands of the recipients because everything in Haiti is so unorganized,” Frew says.
The country is still in a state of shock as rescue efforts have subsided and the need for medical care and disease prevention increases. Frew says the rebuilding process will be a long one, and MedShare will be on the scene to bridge the gap between America’s surplus and Haiti’s ongoing need of medical equipment and supplies.
“Port-au-Prince is the central city in Haiti, and the government and infrastructure has been completely destroyed,” she explains. “We plan on continuing to send medical supplies and outfit clinics and hospitals as they rebuild. Even though this is an emergency response situation, we are still sending supplies that are unexpired, unused and of high quality. Keep in mind that these would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.”
MedShare is currently waiving its standard $75 donation for 50 pounds of equipment for medical teams working in Haiti. The organization is also accepting monetary donations.
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