A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Haiti late on Saturday, October 6, 2018. It was centered 12 miles northwest of Port-de-Paix on Haiti’s north coast, killed at least 12 people, and injured 188 more.
An HHI-Haiti disaster response team, including medical and logistics staff, deployed early on Monday, October 8th to Port-de-Paix. They took medicines, wound care supplies and hygiene kits to help those affected by the quake.
The trip took more than 12 hours on Monday, and Tuesday, the medical team was able to provide medical care to people in need, both with injuries directly related to the earthquake and with conditions exacerbated by the earthquake. The medical team has seen several cases of high blood pressure, diabetes and trauma, and has distributed hygiene kits to this community. The team is also counseling, mostly for the children, who have been traumatized by what they have seen during the earthquake.
One patient the team cared for is Janide Joseph, a 34-year-old pregnant woman who had been injured in the earthquake. Janide was in her house with her daughter when she suddenly felt the ground moving under her feet. She and her daughter both fell and a wall collapsed on top of Janide, hitting her right side. She had a painful and swollen forearm but feared she couldn’t afford to see a doctor. When the HHI-Haiti medical team showed up, she and her baby were finally able to get medical assessment and treatment.
Another patient is 48-year-old Philomème Decius. Philomème stumbled while she was trying to escape her falling house and injured her foot. She went to the hospital and her foot was bandaged, but because of the influx of more serious injuries, she was sent home shortly after. She did not realize she should return for follow-up care for her wound. Without the follow-up care, her toe became infected, and the injury was fast becoming serious. The HHI medical team performed a minor surgery to clear out the infection and provided her with antibiotics and oral rehydration salt.
Caring for the most vulnerable and in need like Janide and Philomème is why Heart to Heart International was founded, it’s why we do what we do today, and it’s why we will continue doing what we do tomorrow.
A big thank you to BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) for assembling these PowrServ hygiene kits that the team has been distributing to people in need in Haiti. These kits are invaluable to people who have lost so much in disasters such as this earthquake.