Shake, Rattle and Operate (Up Dated)

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

From MSF


Haiti: Treatment Continues Through Powerful Aftershock

On Wednesday morning, as Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Haiti continued to work through long queues of patients waiting for treatment and surgery, the country was shaken anew by a powerful aftershock. In Choscal hospital, where MSF has been running two operating theaters, patients were so alarmed by the tremors that they had to be relocated into tents outside the building. The surgeons stayed in the hospital, however, rotating in regular shifts, performing one operation after another.

In the week since the January 12 earthquake, MSF has established 10 operating theaters in the battered country. Seven are in Port-au-Prince hospitals-Choscal, Trinité, Carrefour and Chancerelle-and three others are outside the capital, in the towns of Leogane and Jacmel. Overall, MSF surgical teams have been carrying out an average of 130 operations per day. Simultaneously, logisticians are racing to find new facilities or rehabilitate damaged ones. Additional operating theaters are being prepared in Leogane and Grand Goave, west of the capitol, and inside Port-au-Prince, where a team expects to complete the construction of an inflatable hospital with two operating theaters by Friday.

Cross posted at The Wild Wild Left

In the meantime, vital medical supplies and equipment are still being diverted to the DR.

Six Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cargo planes loaded with vital medical material like antibiotics have been redirected to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This will delay MSF staff’s ability to treat patients who urgently need it.

Haiti: “This is a devastated community”

These pictures are from Trinite Hospital and were taken by Dr. Paul McMaster, who narrates, and his staff. The hospital was severely damages during the quake and several staff members were killed.


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    • TMC on January 21, 2010 at 01:23
  1. …. am I missing something here ?  

    Planes full of medical supplies still being diverted, while even the talking heads on MSNBC say the need for antibiotics is critical or injured people will die of infection?

  2. that asks why? but has no answers…

  3. to thank you for all that you’re doing in Haiti, and for keeping us informed as time permits.

    Wishing you all the best: and wishing even more for the devastated Haitian people.

    • Edger on January 21, 2010 at 02:36
  4. Hopefully the fact that they are now airdropping supplies will alleviate some of the bottleneck problems at the PaP airport.

    Can you disclose which hospital facility you are operating from?  If you’ve already done this somewhere else, please forgive my missing it.

    Again, you’re in my thoughts every day.  Take care of yourself during all of this somehow and try to get rest whenever you can.  

    Here are some orchids for you (from Longwood Gardens):

  5. The story continues to be worsened!  

    Take good care and TRY to rest!


  6. but I’m going to post it here, as well!

    is another initiative:

    Urge Congress to Expand Airdrops in Haiti

    And JFP makes mention that the Wall Street Journal reports this:

    1) Medical Care for Haitians Falls Short, Group Warns

    Ianthe Jeanne Dugan and Corey Dade, Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2010, 6:49 P.M. ET

    Port-Au-Prince, Haiti – Unknown numbers of people are dying every day in Haiti due to a lack of medicines and assistance, compounding the tragedy from last week’s earthquake, aid workers said Wednesday.


    Aid such as food and water began to be more widely distributed and a U.S. medical ship arrived and began taking on patients. But the need for essentials such as medicines was overwhelming – and claiming lives by the day. At any given moment, thousands of injured, some grievously, wait outside virtually any hospital or clinic, pleading for treatment.

    Outside the capital’s main hospital on Wednesday, armed guards in tanks kept out mobs. Inside the hospital’s gates, dozens of patients recovering from surgery lay outdoors on beds under makeshift tents. Many had amputations.VTwo newborn babies cried. The smell of infection hung in the air, and visitors wore masks to keep out the smell and dust. . . . .

    Wall Street Journal and Haitian misery — I don’t dare say what I’m thinking!  But, armed guards in tanks?  Gawd help us all!  Sick, broken bones, trauma and tanks in our faces!

    (Note:  Emphasis mine)

  7. BigSurTree

  8. This is pretty interesting stuff, huh? . . . . . . !

    Defense launches online system to coordinate Haiti relief efforts

    By Bob Brewin 01/15/2010(emphasis mine)

    Workers load an Air Force jet with supplies and equipment at March Air Reserve Base in California.

    As personnel representing hundreds of government and nongovernment agencies from around the world rush to the aid of earthquake-devastated Haiti, the Defense Information Systems Agency has launched a Web portal with multiple social networking tools to aid in coordinating their efforts.

    On Monday, Jean Demay, DISA’s technical manager for the agency’s Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, happened to be at the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami preparing for a test of the system in a scenario that involved providing relief to Haiti in the wake of a hurricane. After the earthquake hit on Tuesday, Demay said SOUTHCOM decided to go live with the system. On Wednesday, DISA opened up its All Partners Access Network, supported by the Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, to any organization supporting Haiti relief efforts. . . .

    Wilson said JCSE was able to get its gear into Haiti quickly because the systems already were loaded on pallets in Miami in preparation for an exercise that has been canceled. . . .  


    Gold and copper exploration in Haiti


    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, April 29, 2009 – The northeastern mineral district of Haiti will soon be the site for gold and copper exploration.

    A Montreal-based mining company, Majescor Resources Incorporated, has announced it will explore the area in a partnership with a New-York-based consortium of Haitian American investors, hoping to make finds similar to those decades ago.

    The company said the area has significant prospects. . . .

    “We believe that the time is right to invest in Haiti and in projects with gold and copper potential.”

    Gold and copper were found in Haiti decades ago, but the country’s instability and lack of infrastructure have discouraged investment.

  9. seemed to be delaying the supply movements, and the question was raised:  “Who is in charge here?”  No one had an answer, and then they all agreed–there’s no one person or group in charge.  So, every organization, government, and individual apparently is making their own decisions and over-all coordination is still lacking.  With this type of haphazard decision-making, people have to be countermanding other people’s decisions, and lord knows how much is lost in the communication process?  

    Just saw a report about the survivors from a nursing home which is located near the airport. These elderly people were outside on the street, who had gotten no food or water since the earthquake.  And they are 20 minutes from the airport.  

    The reporters also mentioned that individual doctors and other individuals were flying in to the Dominican Republic, driving over to Haiti with supplies and going to Haiti to help out on their own.  

    A couple of days ago the question of “who’s in charge” was asked of Gen. Honore & he also stated that no one person is clearly in charge.  He did say that the US effort is being directed by USAID & he seemed to believe that the military would be better able to coordinate their efforts without the USAID directing things.

  10. I believe you were watching for this decision, in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (I could be wrong, if so, please disregard!).

  11. I had mentioned in an e-mail to a friend the other day the following, (plus a great deal more):

    Sure find it curious, as South American countries have been becoming stronger, more self-reliant and have and are firmly rejecting interference from the U.S., and Haiti, too, was becoming more friendly with Venezuela.

    Of course, there’s more to that, but I mention it because of the following, which I’ve just read and find, most probably, to be closer to the truth of just about anything we’ve read.  

    The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?

    by Michel Chossudovsky

    January 15, 2010

    Hidden Agenda

    The unspoken mission of US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)* with headquarters in Miami and US military installations throughout Latin America is to ensure the maintenance of subservient national regimes, namely US proxy governments, committed to the Washington Consensus and the neoliberal policy agenda. While US military personnel will at the outset be actively involved in emergency and disaster relief, this renewed US military presence in Haiti will be used  to establish a foothold in the country as well pursue America’s strategic and geopolitical objectives in the Caribbean basin, which are largely directed against Cuba and Venezuela.

    The objective is not to work towards the rehabilitation of the national government, the presidency, the parliament, all of which has been decimated by the earthquake. Since the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship, America’s design has been to gradually dismantle the Haitian State, restore colonial patterns and obstruct the functioning of a democratic government. In the present context, the objective is not only to do away with the government but also to revamp the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), of which the headquarters have been destroyed.

    “The role of heading the relief effort and managing the crisis quickly fell to the United States, for lack — in the short term, at least — of any other capable entity.” ( US Takes Charge in Haiti _ With Troops, Rescue Aid –, January 14, 2009)

    Prior to the earthquake, there were, according to US military sources, some 60 US military personnel in Haiti. From one day to the next, an outright military surge has occurred: 10,000 troops, marines, special forces, intelligence operatives, etc., not to mention private mercenary forces on contract to the Pentagon.  

    In all likelihood the humanitarian operation will be used as a pretext and justification to establish a more permanent US military presence in Haiti.  

    We are dealing with a massive deployment, a “surge” of military personnel assigned to emergency relief.

    The first mission of SOUTHCOM will be to take control of what remains of the country’s communications, transport and energy infrastructure. Already, the airport is under de facto US control. In all likelihood, the activities of MINUSTAH which from the outset in 2004 have served US foreign policy interests, will be coordinated with those of SOUTHCOM, namely the UN mission will be put under de facto control of the US military. . . . (all emphasis mine)

    I’ve been harboring these similar thoughts deep down for days now.  A deep, sunken feeling inside.

    *[Note reference to SOUTHCOM in a comment further up]

  12. getting set up today… video through the linkhole.

    On January 20, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) logistical teams worked to set up MSF’s inflatable hospital on the grounds of a school in Port-au-Prince. Staff hope to be able to start treating patients inside the structure on January 22.

  13. Haiti to resettle 400,000 quake victims to camps

    By MICHELLE FAUL and TAMARA LUSH, Associated Press Writers Michelle Faul And Tamara Lush, Associated Press Writers – 1 hr 18 mins ago

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Within days, the government will move 400,000 people made homeless by Haiti’s epic earthquake from their squalid improvised camps throughout the shattered capital to new resettlement areas on the outskirts, a top Haitian official said Thursday.

    Authorities are worried about sanitation and disease outbreaks in makeshift settlements like the one on the city’s central Champs de Mars plaza, said Fritz Longchamp, chief of staff to President Rene Preval.

    “The Champ de Mars is no place for 1,000 or 10,000 people,” Longchamp told The Associated Press. “They are going to be going to places where they will have at least some adequate facilities.”

    He said buses would start moving people within a week to 10 days, once new camps are ready. Brazilian U.N. peacekeepers were already leveling land in the suburb of Croix des Bouquets for a new tent city, the Geneva-based intergovernmental International Organization for Migration reported Thursday. . . . .

    Note that the onus of this move has been put on the Haitian government, who we haven’t heard from in some time now, have we?

    Well, we’ll see, but doesn’t this all sound a lot like “Katrina” — I mean how many that were displaced from “Katrina” have ever been able to make it back?

    We can only hope that there is truly good intent (certainly, a temporary home would be welcome to the Haitians, in lieu of the streets, I’m sure).

  14. It’s the New Haiti!

    by Michel Collins

    January 22, 2010

    The appointment of former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as key players in Haitian relief should cause the people of Haiti grave concern, if they weren’t otherwise preoccupied with survival. These former presidents’ records as pro-life advocates on the international scene is tarnished by real world outcomes.

    During his eight years as president, Clinton was responsible for sanctions on Iraq that resulted in the deaths of 170,000 children under five. Former President George W. Bush exceeded that death toll by invading Iraq. That caused civil chaos and conflict among Iraqis leading to the deaths of over one million citizens in that tragic nation. When you see these two coming, their record speaks for itself. (Image)

    What will happen in Haiti? What can the citizens of that nation expect? It’s instructive to look at the post Katrina rescue effort with a focus on New Orleans as a prototype. . . . .

    While the military secured the scene for relief, food, water, and medical care waited in line. The several days of delay created a fatigue and physical debilitation among citizens. It worked to make whatever security might have been needed much easier. A weakened population can be contained efficiently, with minimal force.

    The most important similarities between New Orleans and Haiti are ethnicity and class based. In New Orleans, the majority of damage occurred in black, largely poor districts of the city. In Haiti, the entire nation is both black and, for the most part, living in poverty. . . .

    n/t Chip

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