Thursday February 18, 2010 – LÉOGÂNE, HAÏTI – CMAT Team 3 arrived early on Tuesday, February 16, to relieve the outgoing Team 2, who are returning to Canada this week. CMAT volunteers are seeing more than one thousand patients per week in our Field Hospital and are continuing the treatment of remaining Trauma patients and an increasing number of Primary Care needs.
There has also been an increase in the level of infectious disease transmission, which is not uncommon in post-disaster regions. The team has been able to secure a refrigerator to store the much needed vaccinations which CMAT Medical volunteers are now providing to the patients in an effort to prevent the spread of infectious disease, such as tetanus and measles.
According to the World Health Organization, Infant mortality in Haiti increased from 73.8 per 1,000 live births in 1996 to 80.3 in 2000. The rise is associated with increased poverty, deficiencies in the health system, and the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Acute diarrheal disease is the number-one health problem in children. Other leading causes of death include infectious diseases, maternal/child infections of pregnancy, malnutrition and acute respiratory infections. Half of the children in Haiti are unvaccinated and just 40% of the population has access to basic health care.
CMAT Team 3 members who will be working in Léogâne for the next three weeks are as follows:
- Dr. Dave Ratcliffe, Physician and Team Leader from Comox, BC.
- Dr. Bill Pegg, Physician from Toronto, ON.
- Dr. Rocco Lombardi, Physician from Port Perry, ON.
- Dave Farr, Nurse Practitioner from Ancaster, ON.
- Kate Auger, Nurse Practitioner from Bolton, ON.
- Judy Nevett, Registered Nurse from Comox, BC
- Jill Blacklock, Registered Nurse from Comox, BC
- Gerry Campbell, Paramedic from Comox, BC
- Shaun Rivard, Paramedic from Tecumseh, ON.
CMAT Teams will continue to rotate every three weeks as continued assessments take place. The ongoing need for personnel, equipment and supplies are relayed to CMAT’s Disaster Response Coordinator on a daily basis. Discussions regarding CMAT’s ongoing role in Haiti are continuing with our Board of Directors, Foreign Affairs Officials and CMAT’s United Nations Partners.
Prime Minister Harper meets CMAT Team in Léogâne.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with CMAT medical team members working in Léogâne Tuesday afternoon, spending 10 minutes discussing the challenges and rewards of working in the field hospital. He encouraged them to continue their important work in treating the multitude of people in the post-quake devastated area who are still seeking medical attention.
Team 2 leader and CMAT Director Kathy Harms also briefed the Prime Minister on the unprecedented level of collaboration and cooperation between CMAT and the Canadian Forces.