Report from Haiti

We have been able to organize the piles of medical supplies for the tent hospital that has been established in two large tents at the UN compound, where dozens of volunteer physicians from the States and several from France are working nonstop. Staff from the University of Miami and a team from New Jersey were among the many who had been at it for days – sleeping on-site on crates.

Sunday evening, patients with serious injuries, including open compound fractures, were still arriving to be seen for the first time.

President Clinton is here today, and we were with him at the hospital in Port-au-Prince (right). We have connected with Partners in Health and will work together to assist St. Damien Children’s Hospital. The pre-positioned emergency medical supplies we provided to St. Damien months ago in anticipation of an emergency (which we thought would be a hurricane), was a good call. But they need more, as do other partners, just to keep up.As we work to organize the resources already here, we are receiving site level assessments and reports from our partner health facilities – all of them are draining supplies fast and need replenishment. The incountry logistics for distribution, essentially from the airport outward, are pinched. We are focusing on the medical-supply channels, but food, water, fuel, patient transport, and every other type of transport and distribution function also is urgent.

Brett Williams, Director, International Programs & Emergency Response

Brett Williams, Director of International Programs, joined Direct Relief in 2004. He has been the primary coordinator of Direct Relief’s Haiti response – the largest humanitarian effort since the organization was founded in 1948. He has spent much of the past year in Haiti, managing on the ground efforts and collaborating with more than 100 Haitian health facilities, as well as the Haitian Ministry of Health. Williams served as Direct Relief’s Emergency Response Coordinator before his appointment as Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response. During his career with Direct Relief, Williams has overseen the organization’s responses to the decade’s most devastating emergencies, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, the 2010 Haiti earthquake., and 2011 Japan earthquake. He has established relationships with local, state, and international emergency management agencies, playing a hands-on role in emergency response operations around the world. An avid photographer and champion for women’s access to healthcare, Williams holds a B.A. in history from UCLA.

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