Consignment Arrives Five Days Before Quake


Five days before the earthquake hit in Haiti, Justinian University Hospital (JUH) in Cap-Haitien received a 40-foot container size shipment of medical aid and supplies from Direct Relief to support its regular patient care.  Valued at more than $135,000 (wholesale), the supplies and equipment will be extremely useful as the hospital anticipates an influx of trauma patients in the coming days.

Outside the quake-damage zone on Haiti’s north coast, JUH is a 250-bed teaching facility that cares for a population of about 825,000. It provides a range of services, including pediatrics, general surgery, OB/GYN, and family medicine. The hospital is supported by Konbit Sante, a nonprofit organization with offices in the U.S. and Haiti. Konbit Sante has upgraded and renovated JUH over the past few years and helps manage its inventory, but relies on other sources such as Direct Relief for medical material donations.

As Haiti’s second-largest hospital, JUH is anticipating a large role in caring for quake survivors. “JUH will be receiving patients via helicopter soon; we don’t yet know how many patients will be arriving over the coming week,” Konbit Sante Executive Director Nate Nickerson said in an email to Direct Relief. He added that the hospital is anticipating a high need for anesthetics, equipment, and supplies for its operating and emergency rooms.

As a trusted partner for three years, Direct Relief equipped JUH with a Hurricane Preparedness Module for the 2009 hurricane season. JUH reported in December that the module allowed it to complete an emergency-response plan for the main facility and surrounding clinics since it had the supplies needed to coordinate a response. Though hurricane season proved calm, that preparation will be useful now as JUH works to help earthquake survivors.

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