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Airlift of Medical Relief Bound for Hurricane-Stricken Haiti

  • September 26, 2008

In response to the devastation caused by recent hurricanes, AmeriCares is launching the next phase of its relief efforts for Haiti with a massive airlift of medicines and medical supplies. This has been a harrowing year for vulnerable Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, and AmeriCares has already sent $400,000 in aid to date.

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Medicines and Supplies on the Airlift

AmeriCares responds with a medical relief emergency airlift which will bring more than 200,000 prescriptions of vital medicines to treat the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the flooding. Critical supplies include antibiotics to help treat infections and pain medicines for the seriously injured, as well as multivitamins and IV solutions to tackle growing battles against dehydration and malnutrition. More will be needed as the country slowly recovers from the barrage of storms.

How AmeriCares help will get to Haiti

The AmeriCares relief team prepared for the shipment in anticipation of the plane’s imminent arrival. Upon arrival, the medical relief will be immediately dispatched to hospitals and clinics in the hardest hit areas.

Many of the medicines being delivered by AmeriCares are donated by pharmaceutical manufacturers for the relief effort. Generous donations by people like you provide and the $100,000 cost of the operation so that we can deliver these life-saving medicines to people in need.

This airlift is in addition to a recent shipment of blankets and $400,000 worth of medicines and medical supplies. Important supplies including 10,000 toothbrushes, 3,000 hygiene kits and 20,000 treatments of oral rehydration solution are on their way to the island nation.

Hurricane Season 2008: Impact on Haiti

Haiti has been buffeted by hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the tail of Hannah as well as Fay. At least 600,000 people have been affected by flooding, mud slides and heavy winds. Latest reports indicate loss of life exceeding 600 people, as well as thousands more seriously injured. 160,000 people are still living in make-shift shelters, many of the made of old tarps and storm debris. Roads are washed out, transportation is nearly impossible in the interior of the island. Particularly hard-hit areas in the north can only be reached by air and boat, making AmeriCares airlift all the more critical. The loss of crops and food stores will worsen Haiti’s already dangerously low food supply and related health risks.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, according to the United Nations, with 78% of the population living on less than $2 a day. Communicable diseases are responsible for nearly 38% of all deaths. The World Health Organization reports that HIV/AIDS is the single leading cause of death and is aggravated by tuberculosis, another leading cause of mortality. The infant mortality rate is high, with 83 infants dying for every 1,000 live births—this rate is more than two-and-a-half times higher than Haiti’s neighbors in Central America.Support our ongoing relief efforts >>