Our tent clinic is presently set up in the yard next to Cherlie’s house in Port-au-Prince and 12-15 Relief International team members are using the house as a base camp. It’s been a challenge for us, to say the least, since it’s not a house we’ve ever lived in fulltime, and isn’t set up exactly to American standards. But the positive attitude and flexibility of our fellow volunteers and the Relief International staff has been incredible. We’re all here to help the sick and injured and that we’re doing in record numbers. In the process we’re becoming a cohesive team. We’ve seen over 700 patients in the past five days plus an additional 114 patients in a mobile clinic in a nearby area on Sunday. We’re planning to do several more mobile clinics in areas where there are large numbers of displaced persons- most of them living out in the open with sheets as their shelter. The medical needs of these people are tremendous. We’re seeing many neglected wounds and fractures, infected wounds and consequences of initially inadequate care. One example of this was a small boy with a gaping laceration across his forehead. It hadn’t been sutured and was going to leave an unsightly scar on his face. Of even more concern, though, are those who have suffered psychological trauma. Many patients complain of chronic headaches, palpitations, and feelings of anxiety, made even worse by the frequent aftershocks we’ve experienced in the past week. Thousands of people previously living in Port-au-Prince, but with roots and family in the Jeremie area have returned there to live. We expect that this will significantly increase the patient load in our own clinic in Gatineau. Since Relief International is interested in having a long term presence in Haiti, we’re hoping to continue the collaborative relationship that’s been started in the past week. We’re excited about the possibility of having an even greater impact in the future on the people we love and serve. We invite you to join us as we move forward.
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