WESTPORT, Conn., (Jan.15, 2010) — Save the Children staff in Haiti gave emergency medical attention to a baby girl pulled from the rubble Friday afternoon, nearly three days after an earthquake flattened much of Port-au-Prince.
Winnie, not yet 2 years old, was pulled from the rubble with help from an Australian news crew filming near Save the Children’s offices. Save the Children medical experts determined the girl to be dehydrated, but expect her to recover well. Unfortunately, Winnie’s parents were killed in the collapse of the family’s home. Her uncle, Frantz Tilin, arrived to find her after losing his own wife in the earthquake.
Throughout Haiti’s capital city, earthquake survivors in need of attention are lying on the streets outside of hospitals. Save the Children emergency responders are on the ground, distributing medical supplies to hospitals and clinics that have been left with almost nothing. Several Save the Children teams are also assessing health needs in temporary camps in the most devastated neighborhoods.
“We are seeing dazed, dehydrated parents walking the streets with their children, searching for clean water, food, and shelter” said Annie Foster, Save the Children’s emergency team leader.
“Many are starting to congregate in open spaces, setting up makeshift camps. They are particularly fearful of being in or near buildings, as strong aftershocks are continuing.”
“Save the Children will be starting safe space areas for children in these camps, and also beginning child tracing programs to reconnect children who were separated from their families during the emergency,” Foster said.
Additional emergency staff are en route to Port-au-Prince, including a team of logisticians and experts ready to provide support on education, livelihoods, child protection needs.
In the Dominican Republic, Save the Children staff have mounted a staging ground for relief supplies they are sending in overland to Haiti. Household kits and hygiene kits include essentials like blankets, soap, and Jerry cans to hold water.
Save the Children is partnering with AmeriCares, which is shipping 15 metric tons of medical supplies to Haiti and 40,000 liters of water, expected to arrive soon.
Save the Children has accounted for 52 of its 59 local staff members in Port-au-Prince, many of whom are doing whatever they can to aid the emergency effort, even while their own families and lives have been upended. Save the Children has been working in Haiti since 1978 and has provided emergency relief and assistance to Haitian children and families following various recent disasters, including hurricanes and floods.