From Emergency Aid to Sustainability

On January 12, 2010 a severe earthquake shook Haiti and took the lives of 220,000 people. The damage caused to houses and streets has resulted in the complete destruction of the infrastructure, including hospitals and other medical institutions. Severe injuries to arms and legs have forced the need for amputations, the exact number of which can not be determined even to this day. The fact is that there are thousands and that many children are affected. It is the mission of the "Children in Need - Relief for Haiti" fund-raising campaign to provide them with much-needed medical care.

Emergency aid is just the beginning
In order to achieve a sustainable effect, individual cases require more than just emergency aid. In children, the prosthesis or orthosis should be checked at least every 6 months in order to assure the required functionality and proper fit as long as the child is growing. The device may have to be partially replaced or a new one may need to be fabricated. However, Haiti's sole orthopaedic workshop was destroyed by the earthquake so that it is no longer usable. A single workshop would not be adequate at this point anyway. International aid has helped establish treatment camps in the meantime. The long patient waiting lists at the respective locations indicate the huge demand for specialists required to provide fittings for those affected.

Most difficult conditions
The start of the rainy season in April and the hurricane season have further aggravated the situation. It remains all the more important to show the hard-hit people of Haiti that helpers are continuing to provide assistance in spite of all obstacles and many unresolved logistical challenges. Quick successes are not possible. To rebuild this country, the people living there and their helpers need staying power and continued support from abroad.

Concrete help!
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