The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sending a team of doctors and medical supplies to Haiti immediately to help care for those injured by the devastating earthquake. The doctors will set up a temporary medical center in a Church meetinghouse in Port-au-Prince. The meetinghouse is largely undamaged by the quake.
“We’re finding one of the greatest needs is medical care. Entire hospitals have been destroyed. Medical supplies are scarce. So this temporary medical center will be a tremendous asset,” said Elder Francisco J. Viñas, the area president who oversees the Church in Haiti.
The doctors are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have volunteered their time and skills to assist people in Haiti who are in critical need of medical assistance.
Other urgent needs following the devastating earthquake continue to be water, medical care, shelter and food. The Church is responding to those needs by sending relief supplies in addition to the medical personnel. Some shipments have already arrived, others are in process, and more are being planned.
Two planes, each loaded with 80,000 pounds of supplies donated by the Church, are expected to leave for Haiti on Saturday and Sunday. The supplies on the planes include 15,000 personal filtration bottles, which can each filter and purify 400 gallons of water. Also included in the shipments are food, blankets, hygiene kits, tarps, tents and other necessities. The first flight will leave from Denver on Saturday, 16 January, and the second will leave from Miami that day or the following day. Additionally, hygiene kits and other supplies sent from the Dominican Republic by truck arrived in Haiti on Thursday.
Some of the Church’s meetinghouses in Port-Au-Prince are also being used as temporary shelters for displaced persons.
“Normal daily activity has come to a stop in Haiti. Helping to restore normalcy in the midst of devastation will be our greatest goal. Our focus will be on helping people become self-reliant again.” said Elder Viñas.
The Church continues to monitor the humanitarian situation on an ongoing basis to determine how to best help. Donations for relief efforts can be made at http://give.lds.org/emergencyresponse.