HASHAITI: The Little Hospital That Could and Did and Will Help Haiti Survive Earthquake Injury

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Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti has emerged as a shining beacon of hope in the eyes of wounded earthquake victims, especially for surgical treatment. Still, the two largest problems the hospital now must solve are increased need from an increased population that has migrated to the Artibonite Valley and the numbers of rehabilitation cases in need of on-going treatment. HAS Chair John Rawlins explains the need for ongoing support.

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti has emerged as a shining beacon of hope in the eyes of wounded earthquake victims. The hospital immediately rose to the occasion, meeting the desperate surgical and treatment needs of those wounded by the major January 12th earthquake and aftershocks that struck Haiti ( http://www.p-o-p-s.com/content/Hospital-Albert-Schweitzer-Haiti.)

Today, others writing for him on his hospital blogspot report on this day, Ian Rawson HAS’ managing director is off campus coordinating with other relief organizations to further assist the Haitian population in the best way possible. They indicate that the two largest problems they now must solve are increased need from an increased population that has migrated to the Artibonite Valley in the wake of the destruction around Port-au-Prince and the numbers of rehabilitation cases in need of on-going treatment.

'…Recent estimates show that up to 1 million people are leaving Port Au Prince and that approximately 70,000 are projected to return to the Artibonite Valley near our hospital. We expect that many of these people will require medical attention as they may have untreated injuries. As we brace for this next wave, we are continuing to strengthen supply lines and treat the hundreds of patients already admitted to the hospital.

A second issue that we are facing is the need for rehabilitation services. …The essence of it is that, in the wake of the terrible earthquake, the hospital now has many amputees, quadriplegics and paraplegics. We deal here with every kind of misery there is – and Haiti is never in short supply of that.

Currently HAS is simply not set up to accommodate the large numbers of patients who need services to recuperate and retrain so that they can cope with the challenges of everyday life in Haiti. In 2007 HAS initiated a Rehabilitation Technician Training Program which has now graduated the first group of students, but the demand will be far greater as a result of the earthquake. We are currently reaching out to our community of medical professionals, volunteers and donors to assist in creating a solution for this very critical need.'

"While worldwide support for Haiti has been gratifying and helped us to accommodate anyone who has sought our services so far, ongoing support is key, long after we are not the front page headline any longer," states John Walton, Chair of HAS Board of Directors.

Donations to HAS can be made directly on our website at http://www.HASHAITI.org. Or you can mail checks to: Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti, P.O. Box 81046, Pittsburgh, PA 15217

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Myrna Greenhut
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