USAID's Global Health Bureau Responds to Haiti's Medical Crisis

News and Press Release
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January 16, 2010

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Washington, DC- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Global Health is sending additional specialists to Haiti to help assist with the rising medical needs. Reports indicate that thousands of individuals in makeshift medical facilities are in dire need of medical attention following Tuesday's earthquake.

Global Health Bureau's Clydette Powell and Robert Ferris are among a number of USAID employees deploying to Haiti to support current medical relief efforts with their expertise and much needed supplies. Powell and Ferris, both physicians, have lived and worked in Haiti and are experienced responding to disasters. The two will be assigned on board the USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship commanded by Captain James Ware. The USNS Comfort is capable of providing full hospital services, able to provide mobile, flexible, and rapid response medical capability for acute medical and surgical care. The ship will depart Baltimore MD, sail directly to Haiti, and is estimated to arrive Wednesday, January 20.

"It's a privilege to serve my country and a privilege to serve the people of Haiti," Powell said. She went on to say how proud she was to be a part of USAID's aggressive and coordinated efforts. Ferris, who is trained in both internal medicine and pediatrics, is the treatment lead for the Global Health Bureau's Office of HIV/AIDS and recently served in Haiti for USAID back in November. He lived in Haiti as a volunteer physician at a pediatric hospital in Petionville (which collapsed in the current earthquake), and was a first-responder to the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC.


To date, USAID has provided nearly $55 million in humanitarian assistance for the Haiti earthquake. USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) continues to communicate with partners on the ground to assess and prioritize humanitarian needs, including for emergency relief supplies, shelter and food assistance, and health and water, sanitation, and hygiene services. The humanitarian community is currently focusing on life-saving search and rescue operations. USAID/OFDA is providing additional assistance in accordance with the findings and assessments of humanitarian community as access to affected groups expands over the coming days.

For more information about the USAID efforts in Haiti, visit our web site at www.usaid.gov.