Pre-Positioned Medicines Save Lives in Haiti
Direct Relief’s partner, Visitation Hospital in Haiti, has saved lives and provided care to more than 450 patients with the contents of their hurricane preparedness module and anticipate they will treat hundreds more in the coming days with health needs on the rise after Hurricane Sandy.
The module was sent to the Direct Relief warehouse in Port-au-Prince at the start of hurricane season so that it could be quickly utilized by our Haitian partners in those first critical hours and days after a hurricane strikes, without waiting for additional aid shipments, which are often delayed by logistical challenges. Each module contains enough medicines and supplies to treat up to 5,000 people for one month.
After Hurricane Sandy, roads were completely washed out and yet the hospital, which treats patients in the southwest of Haiti regardless of their ability to pay, saw an increase in the number of patients needing to be treated.
“Last week, a student came to the clinic in the afternoon with a stomach pain as she did not really eat in the morning before going to school, she was crying and could not breathe properly. When she came we quickly revived her with some Ensures donated by Direct Relief and gave her some medicines for her stomach,” reported Riphard Serent of Visitation Hospital.
Other medical interventions the hurricane module supported since its delivery last week was the delivery of a baby, treatment of severe dysentery and malnutrition, he said.
Additionally, he said there is a report of a cholera outbreak in Anse-a-Veau just ten miles south of the hospital. Products to treat cholera are especially useful at now, as the cholera treatment center was damaged Hurricane Sandy and patients are now seeking care at Visitation Clinic as an alternative.
Items included in the hurricane preparedness module such as IV fluids of lactated ringers have already offered life saving interventions for patients with cholera. One patient who arrived at the clinic unconscious last week is now well, after physicians administered IV Solutions included in the pack, said Serent.
Direct Relief extends a special thanks to all the corporate partners whose product donations have made our hurricane preparedness program a true success at saving time and saving lives.
Author: By Andrew MacCalla, Emergency Response Manager on November 16, 2012