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AmeriCares Helps Haiti Recover

  • November 1, 2008

In response to the devastation caused by recent hurricanes and tropical storms, AmeriCares launched the latest phase of Haitian relief efforts with a massive airlift of medicines and medical supplies. The life-saving shipment, valued at nearly $3 million, is currently being distributed to our health care partners throughout the country and includes:

  • antibiotics to help treat infections and disease;
  • pain medicines for the seriously injured;
  • critically-needed medical supplies to help heal wounds;
  • multivitamins to tackle the growing battle against malnutrition; and
  • IV solutions to rehydrate patients suffering from life-threatening diarrhea.

AmeriCares aid expert Lisa Frantzen was recently in Haiti to work with our local partners to ensure the medicines and medical supplies arrived quickly and safely at hospitals and clinics throughout the country. Most of Haiti was affected by the catastrophe with all 10 provinces sustaining damage, posing great challenges for transport.

“Even under the best circumstances, roads are unpaved, rocky and mountainous,” reports Frantzen. “The storms have washed out roads and the barren landscape leaves the region prone to mudslides, making the journeys all the more challenging.”

AmeriCares long-standing commitments to Haiti also help in times of emergency. Displaced people were helped at a Partners in Health (PIH) clinic which AmeriCares helped build in 2007.

With the help of our generous donors, AmeriCares funded the construction of the fully-equipped clinic. In the wake of the hurricanes, the clinic saw a dramatic increase in patients—many making a day’s travel to get help.

“You can only imagine the courage of the Haitian parents traveling across treacherous terrain to bring their children to the clinic,” said Frantzen.

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is a prime target for violent hurricanes each year. The country was still reeling from back-to-back storms when Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on the tiny island.

Our $3 million airlift to Haiti follows an earlier $400,000 emergency response shipment of rehydration salts, medicines, medical supplies and hygiene kits to help reduce the spread of disease.