Just a brief update.
Perhaps the first bullet point from a USAID situation report gives the best overview:
- According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), information on the status of hospitals and health facilities remains limited and contradictory. PAHO reports only a limited number of functioning centers, run primarily by international non-governmental organizations. The temporary field hospital at the U.N. logistics base quickly reached full capacity and is no longer accepting new patients. The GoH [Government of Haiti] designated four new locations for international field hospitals.
Things are still a mess, but I can see a larger and more organized response coalescing. Just the number of people in the UN camp where I’ve thus far spent most my time time has quadrupled since I arrived just 2 1/2 days ago. Relief International is a day ahead of most in getting organized, and with the arrival of 10 people yesterday and three more today we are operational! One member who joined is an Relief International board member who is a documentary film maker, so at least we have someone to take some pictures (below).
We have also moved from staying outdoors at the UN compound to staying with a friend of one of our team members, and through them have made contact with the Prime Minister’s office. This will facilitate our work greatly as we now have a more direct link to the government.
The situation at the field hospital at the UN logistics base mentioned in the quoted USAID report above, and where I worked the first night of arrival, has deteriorated tremendously. There is still no proper sanitation, and no food and water has been provided for the patients. Four to seven patients are dying there daily. There are simply so many needs!
We will begin delivering care later today. Updates later.
Thank you for your support!
Update from Hernando Garzon, MD, January 19, 2010