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6 Months After Haiti Earthquake, Medical Teams International Remains Committed

by Megan Streng | Dec 05, 2013

(PORTLAND, Ore., July 12, 2010)— Six months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Medical Teams International remains committed to working toward recovery. Targeting their efforts on trauma counseling and prosthetics, Medical Teams International will help those who have been left physically and emotionally disabled by the earthquake.

“The situation really hasn't changed much,” said Bas Vanderzalm, president of Medical Teams International. Vanderzalm is currently in Haiti and said “the people in those camps are still struggling."

Rehabilitation and Prosthetics - Dr. June Hanks will manage rehabilitation and prosthetics work called “the Advantage Program” in Les Cayes, where more than 88,000 Haitians have moved from Port-au-Prince.

For the next two years, Advantage Program staff will:
•Provide Haitian-made prosthetics, equipment, rehabilitation and emotional support to people with disabilities.
•Conduct seminars and training sessions with community leaders, teachers and pastors to help raise awareness and increase support for the disabled communities.
•Improve the quality of life of people with disabilities at the community and government levels.

Locally-Based Staff - To help transition from relief to recovery, Medical Teams International has established a presence in Haiti. This team of Haitian and non-Haitian staff continues to funnel lifesaving care and long-term help to families in Haiti.

Six-Month Impact - In the past six months, Medical Teams International sent 18 volunteer teams - the first one arriving only three days after the disaster. In total, 109 doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been sent to work in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, Les Cayes and Carrefour.

More than $5 million worth of supplies and medicines have been distributed to local hospitals and survivors living in tent cities to benefit more than 186,000 earthquake survivors.

The earthquake damaged many health care facilities in the affected areas. Medical Teams International met the needs of those who were injured and ill by:
•Deploying mobile medical units to various tent cities and rural communities serving nearly 23,000 people.
•Supporting Quisqueya Crisis Relief through funding, medical staff, medicines and supplies.
•Supplementing hospitals with medical staff, supplies, medicines and emergency orthopedic surgeries.
•Transporting critically ill and injured people to the U.S. for lifesaving treatment.

Medical Teams International received overwhelming support from individual and corporate donors. To date, more than $4.6 million dollars in cash has been raised for the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. More than $5 million in medicines and medical supplies have been shipped to Haiti. Donations are accepted online at www.medicalteams.org/haiti or by texting HOPE to 253-83 for a $10 gift.