You cant believe how complicated it is to send a container of medical supplies to Haiti. Especially if you have never done it before! There are obstacles but luckily there are also wonderful people who have come to the rescue.
We are trying to supply equipment to the school of nursing and the pediatric ward at the General Hospital. Both ward and school now function in tents- and have almost no equipment.
First we went to the UBC School of Nursing and visited their teaching lab. They gave us a list of items that they thought would be essential for a small Haitian teaching lab. We then took that list to Haiti and showed it to Mme Nazaire, the Head of the School. She made some modifications. We then approached Medwish International- a wonderful charity that fills containers with surplus medical supplies. They were able to provide much of what was needed. University of Miami and Laerdal have offered to donate teaching the expensive manniquins, and a group of physicians in Boston have collected supplies too. And Arnold Kerzner collected 100 thermometers and 50 stethoscopes. His son, Jeff, who works in Haiti is helping us with customs clearing advise.
One of the complications is communication with Haiti which has to be either in french or creole. Luckily, we have Canadian nurses Bernie and Teri who have translated all the documents into french. And Teri speaks creole. And Jacqui Labrom, a friend in Haiti has delivering all the paperwork to the right people at the Ministry of Health.
So many people doing their bit to help!!
The container departs for Haiti on thursday and will be in Haiti in 4 weeks time. We will keep you posted on the progress.