Aid Agencies Struggle to Bring Help

Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 11:45 AM

We got this email on Sunday from Carol Fipp, an aid worker with The Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti. She is trying to coordinate an airlift of injured quake victims from Port-au-Prince to their full-service hospital in Milot, which is 75 miles north of Port-au-Prince. So far, the hospital has only airlifted four patients. The New York Times reports a similar story from the medical charity Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.

Fipp writes:

"Urgently need your help!  Huge story! - PLEASE BROADCAST THIS ANYWHERE YOU CAN IN MEDIA & send to everyone you can.  I BEG YOU.  PEOPLE ARE DYING AND OUR RESOURCE IS NOT BEING USED. -Carol 

I need your help urgently - as soon as possible!  We need to get this to the highest level of U.S. government possible. Hopital Sacre Coeur has only received FOUR patients by airlift so far. People are dying in the streets. We have a full-service hospital with two ORs, a trauma team and an orthopaedic team standing on the ground waiting for patients! They can land helicopters as they did ONE yesterday — we have an ambulance — we are ready — we do NOT need to be contacted in advance. I IMPLORE your help with this! IMMEDIATELY! LIVES ARE BEING LOST EVERY SECOND!"

In a post on the New York Times 'Lede' blog, reporter Micheline Maynard explains why planes are being diverted:

In a notice this weekend, the Federal Aviation Administration said priority would be given to search and rescue, military and humanitarian aircraft, in that order. Flights are being routed through a command center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and pilots must tell controllers what they have on board and when they would like to arrive.

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