devastated city EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI: Léogane – Impressions of a devastated city

by Ruth Bücker/SRI, 2010/02/09

Léogane is a small Haitian city at the sea, located at about one hour’s drive from Port-au-Prince. Here was the epicentre of the earthquake in the middle of January and correspondingly, it is here, where devastation is worst. Together with a humedica team, Doctor Barbara de Matos Marques has pitched up her tents there.

Also in Léogane facilities for medical treatment are still of a makeshift nature, but they are functional in the face of the prevailing circumstances. Photo: humedica

The team has established a humedica field camp on former school grounds and is offering basic medical treatment. The fact that there are doctors in Léogane, who offer medical treatment, has rapidly spread among the people living in the area.

As early as at 5 o’clock in the morning the first patients meet at the camp entrance and patiently wait for their treatment. The most frequent ailments are dysentery, mycosis and pneumonia.

The daily tasks of the team in Léogane also include changing bandages and treating the first cases of malaria. Due to the constant exposure to sun and dust, the immune system of the locals is weakened substantially.

The lack of food and of access to clean water also takes its toll on the victims of the earthquake. Doctors are already preparing everything for the imminent, several week-long wet season. It is to be feared that the number of cases of malaria and dengue fever will increase rapidly in this time.

The list of patients remains a long one, the disease patterns, however, change. Photo: humedica

In her report, Doctor Matos Marques explained that it seemed impossible “to build up everything which is destroyed and to ease the misery of individuals”. But she also said that it was a wonderful experience to see “how committed people from all over the world work hand in hand with the local population and how they have already made considerable achievements”.

One of the objectives of the humedica team in Léogane is the establishment of a headquarters for mobile missions in order to reach and treat also patients in remote areas.

For carrying through these mobile missions and for further long-term aid we still need your support, dear friends and sponsors. Please support us with a donation to the account below:

       humedica e.V.
       Donation reference „Earthquake Haiti
       Account 47 47
       Bank code 734 500 00
       Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Please also donate online. Thank you very much.

The mission in Haiti has been very special to all the currently 30 members of the humedica team. Photo: humedica

The humedica relief efforts in Haiti are carried out in close cooperation with Kindernothilfe (Duisburg), World Vision (Friedrichsdorf) and Bild hilft - Ein Herz für Kinder (Hamburg) . Moreover, we are receiving support from AIR BERLIN GROUP (Berlin), GAiN Germany e. V. (Gießen), Skandinavische Kindermission, hoffnungszeichen e. V. (Singen), Apotheker ohne Grenzen Deutschland e. V., Deutsches Institut für Katastrophenmedizin (Tübingen) and last but not least by Apotheker helfen - Hilfswerk der Bayerischen Apotheker (Munich). Again, at this point, humedica wants to express its gratitude for any kind of support and the excellent cooperation.

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