On the side of this blog is a widget for Doctors Without Borders Haitian Earthquake Relief. Doctors Without Borders is the American branch of the worldwide organization Medicins Sans Frontieres.
The picture above is one of their inflatable mobile hospitals. The Hospitals are made of lifeboat fabric and a 500 bed facility can be erected in 2 days. They should have a few facilities like this up and running by Sunday. They had 3 hospitals in the Port au Prince area before the earthquake and all were damaged, but one hospital, in the Cite de Soleil is operational and equipped with supplies salvaged from the more damaged facilities.
The staff suffered some casualties, but the professional volunteers, doctors, medical personal, technicians of neccessary disciplines are working in 24 hour shifts.
Stefano Zannini, the head of operations in Haiti spoke a few hours ago and said that the first plane loads of their supplies have landed with more staff and equipment. By tomorrow, they expect to start water purification and have 40 tons of surgical supplies.
The biggest problem is logistics, as the streets are chaotic seas of people heading for the MSF hospitals for any kind of assistance.
Sanitation and the spread of disease from corpses is a primary fear, but Zannini, who has been through the big Hurricane at Goncalves and many other disasters says that he has never really seen this happen if there is clean drinking water made available as soon as possible.
Asked when he thought things would start getting better, Zannini said things "were already getting better as soon as they were able to restore their ability to perform surgery"
for the time being, they have enough supplies on hand and tomorrow, when planes arrive from Bordeaux and Panama, they will have much more staff andmore inflatable hospitals.
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