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Canary Wharf charity sends doctors to Haiti

PUBLISHED: 18:00 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:29 05 October 2010

Surgeon Jacques Lorblanches with four-year-old survivor

Surgeon Jacques Lorblanches with four-year-old survivor

AN EAST End charity has sent out extra medics to Haiti to help cope with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. Surgical teams from Doctors of the World UK, formally known as Médecins du Monde UK, which is based in Heron Quay, are treating hundreds

AN EAST End charity has sent out extra medics to Haiti to help cope with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

Surgical teams from Doctors of the World UK, formally known as Médecins du Monde UK, which is based in Heron Quay, are treating hundreds of badly-injured victims in the Haiti capital of Port-au-Prince.

The charity has been working for around 15 years in the area but doctors claim they have never seen such devastation before as they treat survivors with crushed and infected limbs.

Surgeons, who are based at the general hospital and in Cité Soleil hospital in a slum area of the capital, are expecting to amputate on more than 400 patients over the next few days.

And they are forced to operate in unsterile conditions, without electricity or even the right equipment and with little food and water.

Surgeon Jacques Lorblanchès, part of a team from Doctors of the World UK who worked in Iran after a massive earthquake struck the city of Bam in late 2003, said: "I have never seen anything like this - infected wounds full of larvae.

"I did my first amputation with three forceps, five scissors and a scalpel, without water, and just a flashlight to illuminate the injury."

And he added: "The corpses in front of the mortuary were removed, but the smell remains unbearable as some of those waiting outside the hospital under makeshift shelters are also dying.

"The medical teams have to decide who to treat with priority being given to those who are seriously ill and young children."

The charity has sent out 30 tons of vital medical supplies but more is needed as medical staff also head out to the isolated areas to treat survivors.

Visit http://www.mdmuk.org.uk to make a donation.


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