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Report of the 1st Mission to Haiti. Reopening of hospitals (provision of medicines)

Soon after the earthquake (12.1.2010, 7.3 Richter) which destroyed part of Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti, Heart Doctors prepared 300 boxes of medicines and 400 blankets to send them as humanitarian assistance to the victims together with similar contributions by other Organizations and the Greek and Cypriot States. The humanitarian relief mission was organized by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affaires (YDAS). The aircraft to take the medicines and other kinds of relief to Haiti was not allowed to land on the airport of that country because the airport had been destroyed by the earthquake. The American rescue mission which moved to Haiti immediately after the earthquake with a USA military unit to assist the Government of Haiti and regulate the foreign assistance, did not grant the relevant permission. Thus, "Heart Doctors" left for Haiti on the 21st of January 2010 and reached Port au Prince through Santo Domingo. 

The city of Port au Prince, destroyed as it was, appeared as if it had been attacked by a very strong military power. Most of the buildings had been demolished, tents were pitched in many places, American soldiers were patrolling, dirt and rubbish everywhere, hungry people, homeless, lost and unprotected children, sick, wounded and bleeding people of all ages, others searching for food, stealing and breaking into shops, many corpses scattered here and there, unbearable suffocating bad smell of flesh being decayed and smoke stinking of burning dead human bodies.    

Members of the humanitarian Organizations settled at the UN installations where they slept on the ground. "Heart doctors" went to the American officer in charge and demanded that medicines should be given to hospitals (bandages, gauzes, antiseptics, antibiotics, pain killers etc.). In the end the American officer gave the medicines demanded (humanitarian relief from Clinton Foundation; medicines produced in China and India). He also provided the car to transport the medicines to the hospitals. Heart Doctors proposed to the leading American officer to act urgently and open the main roads which had been blocked; they also suggested to construct improvised toilets for the public to avoid epidemic diseases. The humanitarian Organizations received medicines mainly from the UN stocks.

Most of the hospitals, partly destroyed by the earthquake, were closed and without doctors, nurses and medicines. Crowds of people under tents were waiting outside. Four hospitals were reopened by "Heart Doctors" who brought medicines and called the people to enter. After that, doctors appeared, mainly foreigners. A group of American armed soldiers rushed into a hospital "Heart Doctors" were reopening; the soldiers left as soon as they understood "Heart Doctors" were working there.

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