Earthquake Haiti: First Malteser International team on its way - Further teams on stand-by
Port au Prince/Duesseldorf/Cologne. The medical team headed by Malteser International emergency relief coordinator Dr. Georg Nothelle has left Duesseldorf airport via New York for Haiti today – 14 January - at 12.10 am. The scheduled route via Paris was cancelled at short notice due to a strike of the local air controllers. Nothelle is accompanied by two emergency doctors and anaesthetists and the head of the emergency rescue services of Malteser Germany. In Haiti the team will be strengthened by two medical experts of Malteser France as well as by two members of the US-associations of the Order of Malta.
In Santo Domingo the international team will be received by the Ambassador of the Order of Malta to Haiti and accompanied on its way to Port-au-Prince. Upon arrival in Haiti it will be the first taske of the team to collect information and coordinate its relief measures with the other relief organisations on the ground. And - of course - the team will immediately start to provide first aid and medical assistance. The mission of this first team is scheduled for one week; further teams are on stand-by.
In addition, the emergency relief activities will also be backed by a hospital in the north of Haiti that has been supported by the Order of Malta for years. The hospital provides 64 beds and has a children’s ward, a maternity unit, an outpatient department and a modern laboratory; it is the only hospital in the region.
According to present estimations, the death toll is at tens of thousands of people and the total number of people affected by the earthquake at up to three million. Due to the bad infrastructure experts fear a breakout of epidemics and infections - the disaster beyond the disaster.
Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 200 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.org