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News :: Globalization : Human Rights : International : Social Welfare
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief in Haiti Team One on the Ground in Haiti
20 Jan 2010
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief in Haiti Team 1 has landed safely in Haiti and established themselves in the World Harvest compound. Their internet access is intermittent, but the latest available updates can be found at
Summaries of the updates will be added to this article regularly.

Boston IMC's previous story on Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is at

They have enough supplies for immediate operations, but will need to restock soon. They now have a Creole translator. Get more information and donate at

UPDATE: MADRIH is now recognized as an official NGO by the UN, which gives them access to medical supplies and possibly an ambulance. They still need money for food and gas though, so please donate generously.
Summary of updates since Wednesday:

Sunday 1/31 - Team 1 had a conference call with Teams 2 and 4 to review things they had learned. They recommend future medical teams have lots of Creole speakers and realize that infectious diseases and basic medical problems are likely to far more prevalent than trauma cases. Members of Team 2 met a Haitian reporter with whom they plan to look into the hospital strike, and treated a woman with a fractured leg.

Saturday 1/30 - Team 1 reports that Haitian nurses and doctors at the University of Miami hospital are on strike because they aren't getting paid. The team spent most of the day traveling to Jacmel, but did get to treat some patients, mostly for fairly minor problems. There are now over 100,000 medical personnel in Haiti, and the major trauma survivors are now all in hospitals. Two members of Team 2 have been trying to obtain food and other supplies from the UN, and are being frustrated by bureaucracy and incompetence.

Friday 1/29 - Team 1 is preparing to move to Jacmel, where they hope to be of assistance in tent cities. Team 2 all came down with an intestinal bug, but they're fine now. They are trying to get 501(c)(3) status for BIC, and are looking for an existing non-profit to take BIC under its wing. Members of Team 2 report that violence has not been a problem. They are looking for at least 2 Creole speakers with primary care experience.

Thursday 1/28 - Team 1 spent the day touring tent cities, giving out vitamins and deworming pills. They plan to gather logistics information for future MADRIH teams and move farther into the countryside to provide primary care. Team 2 worked with a mobile clinic treating routine, non-earthquake related illnesses on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. They report that life in Haiti seems to be returning to something resembling normal.

Wednesday 1/27 - Team 1 finally got some supplies from the UN warehouse and helped out in a pediatric clinic with some members of Team 2. Team 2 found a new home in a soccer field and worked for a while in the pediatric clinic. They report that "ad-hoc and semi-permanent organizations are getting better at distributing meds."

Tuesday 1/26 - Team 1 spent the day working with a Christian group to give basic care. Most of the patients' medical problems were not earthquake related. Team 2 is working with a group of Haitian business owners called Bureau Implication Citoyenne. They need Blackberries, laptops and money. Get in touch at if you can help.

Monday 1/25 - Team 2 spent the day getting settled in and meeting with other groups to coordinate activity. Team 1 did a lot of scouting to locate tent cities in their area for the UN, as well as distributing medicine and vitamins.

Sunday 1/24 - Team 1 reports that a flood of doctors is pouring into Port-au-Prince just as a flood of patients is migrating to the countryside. Team 2 has arrived in Port-au-Prince.

Saturday 1/23 - After a dealing with lot of red tape, MADRIH is now officially recognized by the UN as an NGO, which gives them access to medical supplies, as well as potentially their own ambulance. Team 2 landed in Santo Domingo, is taking a bus to Port-au-Prince. Team 1 did follow up treatments on some patients.

Friday 1/22 - Team 1 helped out at the UN hospital and got permission to camp there. They also found a functioning school/hospital with a nurse in residence. They continued to treat patients in tent cities and transport some to the UN hospital

Thursday 1/21 - Team 1 split up and treated people in 2 different tent cities.

Wednesday, January 20, 12:45 PM:
From Chris: "We just looked at an abandoned hospital that we could set up on the way to Leogane. It was hit really hard but we are also heading to Leogane right now for an assessment."

Wednesday, January 20, 11:30 AM:
Chris reports that they were not affected by the aftershock:Chris: "Nah, we are great. We are traveling across to find where our team could be of use. Smells like death and it's really hot. We've been to a few hospitals but we are in the works of setting up a new hospital."

Wednesday, January 20, 7 AM:
Team 1 did not suffer any damage in the aftershock and is actively involved in treating wounded Haitians.
Chris from Team 1 reports: "Yea. We're good. Just got to the city. Ran up on a baby with broken femur."

Tuesday, January 19, 11 PM:
Team 1 is safe and sound, and are now in World Harvest's well established compound in a neighborhood that was not damaged very badly by the earthquake. Our team has running water, electricity, personal beds with clean sheets and pillows, meals, and even a borrowed car! They have spotty internet service which means we will have pictures soon. They are tired. Thomas drove 12 hours and then stayed up all night and day for the flight and busride in Haiti.

Our team has been joined by an ER doctor, two additional WEMTs, a media person, and a local translator. They are already packed with gauze, tape, and sutures to begin scouting Delmas and Carfoure, the
earthquake's epicenter, at 6am tomorrow morning. They have several leads on hospitals and field clinics that need reinforcements. When they identify an area that needs their help, they'll return to the compound and come back with a convoy of supplies.

As of yet, they haven't seen too much: some hurt limbs, broken bones. They haven't treated anyone yet, but tomorrow begin the "real world situations."

RETURN TRIP: Team 1 plans to return February 2nd. They have booked a return flight to Miami and can stay at the compound the entire time, but may move depending on where they end up working.

SECURITY: The compound has security guards, but more importantly, has good relationships with their community. There are no operations at night. The team with leave with sunup at 6am and return at 4pm each day, to be back inside by sundown at 6pm.

COMMUNICATION: The team communicated to the US via satellite phone, txt messages, cell phones, and even a couple of e-mails today. Communication is solid, at least for now, but they are very busy, and worry about being overwhelmed by communications from the States. We'll continue to limit updates to them to 1-2 per day.

Chris ended his reportback by saying, as he looks around, life continues. People are at markets. For those travelers who felt unprepared, there are enough supplies for everybody at the current time and they feel well surrounded. To y'all back home: “You guys are gonna do fine. Rack up money and get supplies for us.”

They feel close as a team and are ready to be there together for two weeks.

This work is in the public domain.
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Aid is finally coming!
21 Jan 2010
Youtubes of international aid to Haiti. Keep it coming!; feature=related; feature=related; feature=related; feature=related; feature=related
Make sure your aid goes to the more important causes of the moment
24 Jan 2010
This comment is not directed at any specific organization. However, I have noticed that some organizations that specifically target narrow slices of Haitian society with political agendas are suddenly exploiting the situation in Haiti by putting up calls for financial aid to help Haiti. Scratch the surface and check out what organizations have done with aid in the past, particularly those with a political bent.

For example, one organization that specializes in doing art projects and reforestation work (both noble goals) suddenly claims to be doing general aid work. Haitians need food, shelter, and medical aid at this moment. Be careful that the aid you give in response to the crisis goes to food, shelter, and medical aid.
Re: Make sure your aid goes to the more important causes of the moment
24 Jan 2010
Yeah, right. I suppose the fact that you just happen to be commenting on a story about a specific organization is pure coincidence. If you'd bothered to actually click on the link to MADRIH's reports page you would have seen that they are doing important work on the ground now, in spite of the enormous logistical hurdles they face.

Here it is again -

I realize this is the internet, but it still sucks when people have nothing better to do with their lives than passive-aggressive sniping at groups that are providing desperately needed medical care in a disaster zone.
you are mistaken, peter
24 Jan 2010
I am not writing about your anger is misdirected.