Pakistan

CRF awarded CIDA funding for Medical Relief teams and Field Hospital in Pakistan Quake Crisis; Team #3 establishes wound care clinic in Muzzafferabad

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CRF is very pleased to announce today that it has been awarded over $190,000 in funding for two of its projects as part of the fund matching program through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Hull , Quebec . The funds will be used to support medical teams of physicians and nurses to relieve exhausted medical staff at Islamabad hospitals, as well as to staff a CRF field hospital being established in Muzzafferabad and other quake devastated areas in northern Pakistan.

CRF was also recently awarded $22,000 USD from Mercy-USA (www.mercyusa.org) a Michigan-based relief agency to fund the establishment of an advanced inflatable field hospital in Pakistan .

Since the October 8, 2005 earthquake, CRF has deployed a total of three "Canadian Medical Assistance Teams" (CMAT) over three weeks to Pakistan for quake relief with a total of 24 team members deployed to date. A fourth 8-person team of physicians, nurses and physiotherapists is being assembled on standby for deployment to Islamabad on Friday, November 11 and will be the first team to be funded by CIDA. One member of this fourth team will be Dr. Lynda Redwood-Campbell, a clinical professor of family medicine at McMaster University . Dr. Redwood-Campbell is a veteran of international relief in Rwanda , Congo , the Honduras , and post Tsunami in Indonesia where she worked at a Red Cross field hospital in Banda Aceh for six weeks. Dr. Redwood-Campbell will be offering her expertise in primary health care and public health - significant needs in Pakistan at this stage of the crisis.

CMAT Team #3 which deployed on October 28 has already established camp in Muzzafferabad and will be offering wound care services, coordinated with other NGOs on the ground. The team is seeing a large number of severely infected and gangrenous wounds, and have also performed minor amputations. Some members of Team #3 have remained in Islamabad to offer medical support to the overworked staff at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), the largest public hospital in Islamabad which CRF has partnered with.

Meanwhile, the weather continues to deteriorate in the quake affected areas and cold weather is setting in with sub zero temperatures at night. Quake survivors are falling ill with respiratory tract infections and shelter is arriving very slowly with most survivors staying outdoors fully exposed to the elements.

CRF has accumulated a database of over 350 skilled health care professionals and construction/tradespersons across Canada which was generated since the December 26 Asian Tsunami. All are volunteers indicating they would foot their own travel bills and take personal time off work. Numerous volunteers are signing up from the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (www.rnao.org) through an appeal they made to their 23,000 members as well as the Paramedics Association of Canada. CRF Has established Emergency Disaster Response Offices across Canada including British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.