Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
I am writing about the developing ministry in Haiti and Score’s medical involvement there.
Score has not been slow in trying to get involved with sending aid, medical teams (and other teams), to the disaster in Haiti, but we missionaries living on the field know the many issues involved.
Security, food and water, specific medical needs, transportation, living conditions for the team, etc are all concerns that have to be dealt with before we venture into a new area of crisis. We have a lot of in country experience here in the DR and some of us have emergency and disaster experience and training as well.
These are our findings and the direction Score’s medical ministries will take in the coming weeks and months in regards to our ministry to the Haitians who so desperately need our help and the gospel.
If you are a non medical team, you should contact Score headquarters in Chattanooga for any involvement you might have in Haiti or the border area.
We have sent two teams to both the Haitian border and into Haiti. One to Jacmel and one to Jimani. The one to Jacmel is still developing and it is premature to send medical teams in mass there. Transportation is the major problem, as the roads are closed and the airstrip short. We will keep you updated.
Jimani is on the Dominican side of the Haitian border. I responded there in 2004 to a flood where 3,000 souls perished in a flood, providing medical care to many. The area is like a desert as exists around Phoenix, AZ. At that time I was the only care giver and was given a local clinic to use.
Now we have many more partners, one of them being Buen Samaritano hospital in La Romana. Moises, the administrator, has partnered with us over the years. He has another hospital in Jimani he is associated with called Gran Samaritano.
Our first medical team and vision team have just returned from there. It seems multitudes of Haitians are being driven by car, truck, moto, and helicopter or walking over the border and flooding the medical facilities. The medical facilities are drastically short of supplies. The surgeons and anesthesiologists are practically falling asleep while working due to the number of amputations being performed.
I have been in contact with the director of that hospital personally and he has extended the use of this facility to our medical teams. We will not be taking over that facility, but rather partnering with what they are already doing. They have set aside one whole floor for volunteer use! There are an estimated 100 cots and then mats on the floor for sleeping. World Vision is providing food and water for the volunteers. Other churches and another building are being used also. There are many volunteers responding so a ‘tent city’ has been set up and volunteers are sleeping there also.
We will be diverting our med teams to the effort. In some cases your team will stay around the San Pedro area that you might have worked in the past; the others will go to meet this crisis. In some cases a team may be divided; part to operate out of Juan Dolio and part to go to Jimani. When you arrive, you will stay at Score until we leave Juan Dolio; then drive by bus to Jimani where we will be involved in all phases of medical care, from surgery to feeding patients by hand.
For example, if we leave early Monday or Tuesday morning we will work Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs; then return either late Thurs or Fri to Juan Dolio. The team will stay at Score until flying back to the US.
The hospital has few supplies and we need every imaginable dressing, tape, surgical gloves, drapes, masks, etc. We need pain meds: ie, Tylenol, Advil, Ultracet, Tramadol; narcotics are sadly lacking also. Injectable Toradol and phenergan also. Many of the surgical cases are in immense pain. They need alcohol for cleaning and hydrogen peroxide.
Splints, and casting materials are lacking. If you bring these with you, we can continue the minsitry here and make a mighty difference. Casting materials!!!!!!!! IV antibiotics, IV fluids, tubing, angiocaths.
Keep this in mind: most air carriers are not permitting extra luggage or over weight luggage due to their own assistance to Haiti. Score’s clinic in Juan Dolio is not equipped to outfit all the teams for a crisis like this ~ so please provide what your teams intend to use.
This is a time when we must all adjust our priorities, desires, and preferences.
Our medical ministry at Score will have many needs. I will be driving to Jimani frequently myself. We will need to buy extra supplies here to carry there that your teams cannot supply. Assistance in these areas will be greatly appreciated.
Translators will need to be paid, etc. Many of these things need to be done in cash.
My role may be to treat patients, but mostly to coordinate a wide variety of medical teams based on their skills and the needs of the patients.
If you wish to add additional teams, please contact Score in Chattanooga, TN. DO NOT SEND ANYONE WITHOUT CONTACTING ME AND SCORE IN CHATTANOOGA.
TEAMS MUST BE SELF SUFFICIENT. That is, they must provide their own supplies. If you do ortho, please bring plates and screws, casting, etc. The best surgeon is lost without his scrub nurse and anethesiologist or CRNA.
You will need to provide all of your own scrubs to wear. There will be NO laundry service. You should bring a flashlite, light sheet to cover with, personal toiletries, snacks. This will be dormitory sleeping arrangements and no private rooms!! You might sleep in a tent. Bring a ground cloth and maybe an air mattress. Perhaps one of those ultra lightweight fleece sleeping bags for $10. They are small and travel well. Leave what you can with us and we will help future teams.
For the teams that are ready to leave it is too late on this one, but for those coming in the weeks and months ahead, consider purchasing and leaving behind here folding cots for sleeping. In that way we can build a sleeping system for future teams that is portable.
Bring hand sanitizer, personal meds, and any meds you need sometimes, ie, for migraines. I do not know if we will have a refrigerator. I doubt it.
Bring a water bottle.
You will be permitted a small carry-on sized piece of luggage to transport to Jimani not counting medical supplies. So fit all your personals in it. You might also bring a backpack.
We will have a truck to transport all of the supplies and personals to Jimani.
You should leave your passport at Score in Juan Dolio as it will not be needed. You may carry a copy with you if you wish.
You will need extra money while traveling, perhaps to buy snacks along the way.
Please bring your Bible!!!
Coordinator of Medical Evangelism
809-395-7212 ; ;