Earthquake Haiti Press Release - January 19, 2010
Malteser International: “Only little hope for severely injured children” / Distribution of food and medicine at five places on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince/Cologne. Prof. Dr. Klaus Runggaldier reports from the crisis region: „Yesterday we could successfully operate on a ten year old girl that had not been injured so much. For the seriously injured children, however, there is only little hope.” Since Sunday, the three Malteser International medical doctors have been working in the hospital “Francois de Sales” downtown in Port-au-Prince. According to Runggaldier, the situation is still difficult; nevertheless, it is increasingly possible to provide basic medical care. Thanks to the good networking of the native Haitian Malteser International colleagues the team now has at its disposal a jeep as well as local communications means.
Via COTEDO, a local partner organisation from the Dominican Republic, Malteser International starts the distribution of food and medicines at five reception camps and emergency clinics on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Thus, several thousands of survivors of the earthquake will receive urgently needed food and medicine. COTEDO will also send a medical team with 25 people to the crisis region.
Meanwhile, the hospital “Sacré Coeur” in the north of Haiti which is supported by the Order of Malta has reached its capacity limits: Seriously injured survivors of the quake are brought to the hospital by helicopters. According to the doctors, they have to perform an amputation – leg or arm – in nearly each case.
In Cologne, Malteser International is preparing the replacement for the four German team members. Native Haitian surgeons and anaesthetists as well as probably general practitioners and gynaecologists will be sent by the US associations of the Order of Malta and are to arrive in Port-au-Prince this week.