I'm going to try to compress some Haiti Earthquake Relief info here. I made a decision to support Doctors Without Borders/MSF because I know members and have been so impressed by their achievements in the past. So, again, if you want to make a donation to Haitian Earthquake Medical Relief, click on the GIF on the side of the blog.
This is an interview with boingboing.net with MSF:
How do you create a surgery center in a disaster zone in the shortest amount of time possible?
The aid group Doctors Without Borders (aka Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF) has developed what they call a "plug and play hospital," a series of inflatable tents with generators and sanitation equipment designed to be mostly independent from the water and power systems typically unavailable after a catastrophe. They are setting up one of these in Haiti right now: 9 tents, 100 beds, including surgery and intensive care areas. And if you think Windows install kits are heavy? This one weighs 41 metric tons. To learn more, I spoke to MSF Logistics Supervisor Laurent Dedieu in New York and Hocine Bouhabib in Haiti, who is managing the tent hospital setup today in Port-au-Prince.
Boing Boing: There are reports that MSF and other aid groups in Haiti have been frustrated by delays in getting supplies where they're needed. Were your inflatable hospital supplies delayed?
Hocine Bouhabib, MSF, Haiti: Yes, but the tents and technical equipment have finally arrived. The first shipment left Bordeaux, France, last Friday morning and was supposed to land in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, but after one and a half hours flying around Port-au-Prince, we were diverted to another site on the eastern side of the island, in the Dominican Republic. The airport there was not well-equipped, and unloading took us many hours and cost a lot of energy. We drove it in trucks to Port-au-Prince, and have been working nonstop, in 8 hour teams that trade off and go day and night. We hope to start offering medical treatment inside these structures Friday morning, if we can continue setup at this pace.
Boing Boing: As we speak right now, where are you in the setup process?
Hocine, MSF, Haiti: We've set up the plastic tile flooring, and we're connecting them on the floor. The mobile field hospital is 9 tents, and each is about 100 square meters, so the total is about 900 square meters. The land we're using is a former football field, so it's the perfect space for this, nice and flat. Port-au-Prince is very hilly, not much level ground, so we're lucky.
I want to get this ready for medical activity as soon as possible. When you walk through Port-au-Prince and see all the devastation caused by the earthquake, and see all the injured people just sitting in the streets, patients just lying outside, and our medical team operating in very, very bad conditions -- they are waiting urgently for the structure. Our doctors have been doing their best but in a very bad environment.
There is another bit of info, the internet in Haiti has been severly damaged by the earthquake, which cut the sea cables. The internet is being kept alive by one man, Raymond Guerrier, who is operating a fuel powered internet hub. He recieved fuel for one week and is running out. He is operating a hub that goes through the Dominican Republic and is doing the work of a full staff alone.
He has to monitor the euipment, keep it running and defensd the facility from looters or the fragile link with the rest of the world will be gone.
He needs to have his family sent out of Haiti and have more fuel providsed for the generator or he will have to abandon his 24 hour a day mission.
If anyone has any contacts they can use to spread this word, you could help keep this Haitian internet hub up and running for a little longer.