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The Haitian Earthquake Crisis: The First Responders’ Perspective

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A catastrophic earthquake of the magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale hit Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday January 12, 2010 at a focal depth of 13 km or 8.1 miles. Four days after, a joint Ministry of Health (Jamaica)/Jamaica Medical Doctor Association (JMDA) initiated CARICOM (Caribbean Community) endeavour entered Haiti to establish a system whereby medical help could be offered to the Haitian populace. Two hospital sites were established (one for life-saving surgeries, the other for limb reconstructions), clinic facilities for walk-in wounded and other related cases, and mobile clinic services (called the Train of Hope). Within 48 hours, a total of 43 operations were performed (26 major, 17 minor). Within eight days, a total of 1229–1249 patients were seen in all the facilities established. This included a total of 106 operations (64 major, 42 minor). There were a total of 21 life-saving amputations.

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e-Published: 31 Jan, 2014
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