January 13, 2010 Haiti: Malteser International responds to devastating earthquake Medical team will leave for emergency relief in the disaster region
Port au Prince/Cologne. – „Due to the soil erosion, our capital lacks a solid basement. The slums that were built on the hills were completely slipped off within the mudslides”, reports Eduard Aimé from Haiti. “Even the most solid buildings like the presidential palace, ministries or the cathedral were severely damaged”, Aimé continues. At present, Malteser International is preparing the deployment of a medical team consisting of medical doctors and further medical experts from Germany and France in order to support local Malteser teams on the ground. “The colleagues in Haiti know very well that basic medical care and the provision of clean drinking water are matters of top priority now”, Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International, explains.
The emergency relief of Malteser International is coordinated within the worldwide international network of the Order of Malta. For about 15 years already, the Order of Malta has been supporting a hospital in the north of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. 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. The 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in the late evening on Tuesday, 12 January. According to the latest reports possibly hundreds of people were killed and thousands were injured and are homeless. The quake destroyed an unknown number of buildings and homes and caused significant damage to the infrastructure, roads and the communication system. Attention editors: Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International, is available for interviews. (Contact: +49 221 98 22 – 155) 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