(PORTLAND, OR Jan 13, 2010) Medical Teams International has two disaster relief teams ready to go to Haiti. The first team leaves tomorrow, Jan. 14. They also are mobilizing shipments of medical supplies and distribution of financial aid to help in response to the worst disaster in Haiti in 200 years.
Medical Teams International has also been in touch with their partner organizations in Haiti. Today, country director of Haiti Foundation of Hope, Delamy Bizilme reported, “What I see I cannot express, a lot of houses collapsed and they cannot take the bodies out. A lot of people died... please pray!”
The first medical team includes veteran volunteers Dr. Joe Markee and Dr. Daniel Diamond. They will be joined by registered nurses Linda Markee, Deanna King and Anne Blaufus. The Markees, Vancouver, Wash. residents, served as medical missionaries in Haiti for many years. They have led a number of teams to Haiti. Deanna King is from Harrison, Idaho. Anne works at Providence Portland Medical Center, in Portland, Ore.
The second team will be led by Dr. Lew Zirkle an orthopedic surgeon from Richland, Wash. His team is scheduled to include several other orthopedic specialists. Dr. Zirkle has led many training sessions for Haitian orthopedic surgeons and knows the orthopedic community well. He will be taking with him orthopedic supplies donated by the De Puy companies, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson.
The earthquake’s epicenter was only 10 miles from Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital. Damage is expected to be extensive. Communication is emerging slowly from the scene, but partners and experts predict the death toll could reach into the thousands.
Please pray for the families affected by this disaster. Pray as well for Medical Teams International staff and volunteers as they respond. They will be posting updates on www.medicalteams.org/haiti as developments occur.
Medical Teams International is also accepting cash contributions to send volunteers and supplies. To make an immediate, secure gift, please go to www.medicalteams.org. Or call, 1(800)959-HEAL (4325). Or send your contribution to: P.O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207-0010.
Since 1979, Medical Teams International has shipped more than $1.3 billion in antibiotics, surgical kits and lifesaving medicines to care for 45 million people in 100 countries around the world. More than 2,600 volunteers meet the needs of people worldwide each year. Donations can be made by calling (503) 624-1000 or by logging on to www.medicalteams.org.