Canadian medical assistance teams set up field hospital in Haiti's Leogane region

Report
from Health Partners International of Canada
Published on 19 Jan 2010 View Original
TORONTO and MONTREAL (Jan. 19, 2010) - The Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) a Canadian-based grassroots disaster relief organization made up of volunteer medical professionals, has set up an inflatable field hospital in Haiti's devastated Leogane region. Patients with fractures and wounds are being treated with Physician Travel Packs (PTPs), containing medicines donated by Canada's pharmaceutical industry through Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC).

"The situation on the ground is difficult," says Glen Shepherd, President of HPIC. "This is the best kind of response at this stage. We are so grateful for the volunteer service of these Canadian doctors and nurses. With their compassion and skills, and the donations we have received from Canada's pharmaceutical industry, lives are being saved in Haiti."

HPIC is receiving donations of medicine for Haiti from both the research-based and generics pharmaceutical industry. "We are in the process of organizing a significant mobilization of medical aid for Haiti," Shepherd says. "Dozens of our partners, both medical professionals and NGOs, are active in Haiti and the pharmaceutical industry wants to support their efforts to care for the most vulnerable."

CMAT's assessment and medical teams arrived earlier today in the Leogane region, approximately 35 minutes from Port-au-Prince with security escort.

"The city of Leogane, which has a population of 134,000, is about 80 per cent devastated, including a five-story nursing school" reports Valerie Rzepka, Registered Nurse and CMAT Chairperson, who is a member of CMAT's assessment team stationed in Haiti. "The people here are experiencing many fractures and wounds. Supplies are very limited. There are many amputations which we are hoping we will able to treat within the field hospital."

CMAT's medical assistance teams are working closely with the Canadian Forces in the Leogane region and secured a permanent location for the field hospital this afternoon.

CMAT is also expecting to rotate medical teams in and out of the area in the coming weeks.

HPIC and CMAT are collecting donations for medical relief efforts in Haiti.

Donations to help HPIC's relief for Haiti can be made online at www.hpicanada.ca or by calling 1-800-627-1787. Donations to help support CMAT's volunteer medical assistance teams can be made online at http://www.canadianmedicalteams.org

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Members of the CMAT team in Haiti are available for interviews via satellite phone or on location.

About Health Partners International of Canada

Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) is dedicated to increasing access to medicine and improving health in the developing world. Canadian Charitable Registration #: 119031524RR0001

About the Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT):

Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-denominational charitable foundation registered in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Established in December 2005, CMAT has earned a reputation as an important partner agency of the United Nations.

CMAT's mission states that by preserving human dignity, helping to reduce suffering and building capacity, CMAT aims to assist vulnerable communities most affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster to heal their biological, psychological, and social wounds. For more information please visit www.canadianmedicalteams.org Canadian Charitable Registration # 88439 3315 RR0001

For more information contact:

Marg Buchanan
Director, Marketing Communications
Toll-free: 1-800-627-1787
Tel: 514-695-0007, ext. 106
email: mbuchanan@hpicanada.ca