The following release was issued today by Partners In Health:
"In Haiti, it continues to be a race against time to provide urgent medical care to people who are injured and sick. But we must also focus on the long-term implications presented by a new, large group of vulnerable and displaced people in Haiti. PIH has the expertise and commitment to stand with Haiti for many years to come. Events like MTV's Hope for Haiti telethon tonight bring this tragedy into peoples' living rooms and present an immediate opportunity to help, and for that we are grateful." -- Ophelia Dahl, Executive Director, PIH
The latest on-the-ground developments as reported by the PIH team in Haiti this morning:
- In spite of the recent aftershocks, which have caused temporary evacuations at medical facilities in some locations, the PIH team reports having gotten 24 operating rooms up and running, providing urgent care 24 hours per day, including 12 at the central University Hospital in Port-au-Prince (HUEH) and seven at four of our medical facilities outside the capital. Now that a hospital ship has arrived in Port-au-Prince, PIH is also coordinating efforts airlifting critical patients to USNS Comfort from HUEH at a rate of as many as 8 patients per hour during the daylight hours.
- PIH has had great success assembling surgical teams, transporting them to Haiti, and putting them immediately to work. At last count, more than 140 surgeons, nurses, anesthetists and other specialists had arrived, allowing our operating rooms to run at full capacity around the clock. But our team in Haiti continues to report a great need for additional medicines (antibiotics, anesthesia and narcotics), medical equipment (anesthesia machines and x-rays), medical supplies (IVs, tubing, irrigating saline), and water. PIH is calling on the international community to continue to send critical medical equipment and supplies.
- A team of PIH's Haitian doctors is systematically seeking out and bringing medical care to communities of people in Port-au-Prince who have not received any relief services in the 10 days since the earthquake. Led by Dr. Fernet Leandre, head of PIH's HIV and TB programs in Haiti, the team is conducting mobile clinics to triage and treat patients and is arranging transportation for Haitians needing critical care. For example, PIH doctor Gregory Jerome organized a mobile clinic for a group of people who had established an encampment in a park near his home, some of whom needed urgent medical care. While the international response to the disaster has lagged, Haitian communities have rallied together in this fashion at hundreds of locations, where they have organized and shared what limited resources are available. PIH is reaching out to assist these self-organized communities as the foundation of our medical response and calls on the international community to recognize and take guidance from them as a way to distribute food, water, shelter, sanitation and other essential services equitably and efficiently.
- Ophelia Dahl, Executive Director of PIH, is scheduled to land in Port-au-Prince later this afternoon to meet with the PIH team.
- Partners In Health will be one of five organizations benefiting from the most widely distributed telethon in history, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief hosted by MTV. The telethon runs tonight from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm (7:00 pm CST) and will air on all the major networks.
- James Taylor is playing a beneficiary concert for Partners In Health tonight in Great Barrington, MA. The concert has already raised $300,000 to benefit PIH. A second "Help for Haiti: An Intimate Evening with James Taylor" concert has been scheduled for Saturday, January 23 at 8 pm.