There is really no way to tell what the death toll is in Haiti. The infrastructure in Haiti was so poor before the magnitude 7 earthquake; what is left is totally devastated. Estimates are all over the board and very broad ranges are quoted. 100,000 to 200,000 dead, 250,000 injured, 1.5 million homeless…no one knows, and won’t know for a long time, but these numbers tell the story, the pictures tell the story, and the stories are endless.
The really sad part is the corruption. Fears of looting and violence keep aid groups and governments from moving as quickly as they would like. The Haitian government is invisible, nobody has taken firm charge, and one report said the police have largely given up. Getting into Haiti is a huge undertaking with the airport overly crowded with trying to increase flights in, and the port is in shambles.
The Haitians need food and water. Without water diarrhea is likely. Children, the weak and elderly will die unnecessarily from diarrheal disease that would be easily treated with water under normal circumstances. Another major risk is bacterial infections where they have open untreated wounds. Injuries are massive which include crushed or amputated limbs, compound fractures and lacerations. Without quick treatment, these wounds will become infected.
Nashville’s former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a heart-lung surgeon, is on a medical mission to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. His office said in a news release that he arrived Monday at Port au Prince and will be stationed first at Baptist Mission Hospital. He is working with the international relief agency Samaritan’s Purse. Centennial Medical Center of Nashville donated both IV fluids and antibiotics among other critically needed medical supplies.
Haiti is a terribly corrupt country, but they need the world’s help. Many innocent men, women and children are in dire need of food, water, shelter and medical help. Do what you can to help. Every community has something going on to collect supplies, food, water, clothing and money. My only advice is, be careful when you give. There are many reports of people taking advantage of this situation for personal gain. Major organizations, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, and many more are legitimate ways to help. Local churches are working together and with these organizations.
Haiti needs our help. For the Haitians, the worst is yet to come!