The earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince on January 12 2010, changed Haiti irrevocably. We continue to lend a strong hand as they rebuild their country.
Our Three-Stage Relief Program
On January 12 2010 a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti, injuring over 300,000 people, leaving over 1 million homeless, and killing an estimated 240,000 people, though some figures now estimate the death toll to be far more. Within days of the disaster happening, the Haiti Hospital Appeal delivered some of the first aid in the international emergency response. You can view the video from our first trip below…
Since then we’ve been involved in a three-stage emergency relief program.
Thanks to our supporters we’ve been able to contribute over £250,000 towards the relief effort, saving lives and restoring hope to many. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all those who responded with such generosity and compassion. However, with the media’s eyes now moving from Haiti, the tragedy of this earthquake has already been forgotten by many.
The Haiti Hospital Appeal is aware that there is still a long way to go, and we are committed to the long-term reconstruction of this nation. We were in Haiti for many years before the earthquake, and we’ll be there for many years after. The urgency is as real now as it’s ever been. We’re asking our supporters not to forget Haiti, with our 2010 campaign ‘We won’t forget.’
Stage 1: Provide aid to Port au Prince
The Haiti Hospital Appeal provided over 10 shipping containers of aid to Port au Prince in the immediate aftermath of this disaster. This included distributing food, water, clothes and medical supplies to different communities, tent villages, and orphanages. Delivering urgently needed orthopaedic operating equipment from the North of Haiti to surgeons in the South. Transporting a number of injured victims and other displaced families to the North of Haiti. Providing HHA UK medical teams to understaffed hospitals in Port au Prince.
Whilst the majority of our work is now focused on the Northern departments, our aid relief effort to the south continues through supporting our spinal patients, and providing housing.
Stage 2: Provide aid to refugees
It’s been estimated that about 40,000 people re-settled in and around Cap-Haitien after the earthquake, where we work in North Haiti. In 2010 we successfully distributed a large amount of aid sent from the UK to homeless families across Haiti, including refugees in the North. This aid included hygiene packs, bedding, and equipment like sowing machines to start micro businesses and develop a sustainable future.
Since the earthquake our Health Centre now opens 24 hours around the clock, 7 days a week. It has offered urgent and life saving support to hundreds of victims from Port au Prince. Some families came to our centre with horrific injuries, having searched for help for over two weeks after the earthquake. HHA partnered with a series of US NGOs who were able to offer more specialist care and support.
Our ambulance also supported Cap-Haitiens Government Hospital in its emergency relief effort, as well as providing assistance for the UN and Haitian Government in a series of smaller disasters in the North since the earthquake.
HHA has also worked closely with the North Haiti Health Network to try and establish a distribution program of medication and materials to smaller, more isolated community clinics across the North.
Stage 3: Provide Haiti with a hope
Since 2007 HHA has been seeking to build a new Maternity and Paediatric Unit. In the aftermath of the disaster it became clear that there was a great need across the country for specialist spinal units to care for those patients with spinal injuries. HHA subsequently finished two Maternity buildings, and opened them as a Spinal Unit.
About 30 minutes from our site is a hospital called Milot which did a fantastic job post earthquake with immediate trauma cases. Many of their patients were referred to them from the USS Comfort for surgery. Those with severe spinal injuries were subsequently sent to us for long-term rehabilitation. If you’d like to find out more about this side of our work please visit our rehabilitation pages.
We are now building a permanent rehabilitation building. The maternity and paediatric unit will revert back to its original purpose and open in 2011, again thanks to the support of everyone in 2010.
Along with this care we are committed to continuing our ongoing work to provide a future of hope for Haiti. You can find out about more of our projects via the home page.