As Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti, MedShare got to work. In the first month of response, MedShare equipped over a dozen medical mission teams with hundreds of pounds of supplies for their trips. In partnership with AirLink, MedShare also airlifted a shipping container to Port-au-Prince carrying 6,840 pounds of medical supplies. But that was only the initial response. Since then MedShare has sent a total of four shipments containing nearly 30,000 pounds of life-saving supplies to Haitian healthcare organizations to help them heal following the hurricane. Two dozen medical mission teams have collected more then 1,600 pounds of supplies from MedShare before making their way to the most remote areas of Haiti where people have been entirely cut off from aid. Gaelle Castor, one of MedShare’s medical mission team leaders, shared her story as she treated patients in the devastated areas surrounding Les Cayes. After watching her country being devastated by Hurricane Matthew, Gaelle organized several Medical Mission Teams to go to Haiti. She collected supplies at MedShare and made her way to the Tiburon Peninsula, which was severely damaged by the storm. Many of the towns her team traveled to were completely cut off from the rest of the island, meaning that they had been waiting for medical assistance for over a week. While distributing first aid and hygiene supplies near Les Cayes, she met Leon. Leon and his family lost their home, their livestock, and their livelihoods to the storm. But that loss didn’t stop him. Leon spent all of his energy helping his community recover. He had no supplies and no resources, nothing but the desire to help and the generosity of someone who knows what it is to have nothing. When Gaelle and her team arrived, Leon was overjoyed to finally have help. He served as their guide and helped them navigate the dangerous area. He was so eager to help them distribute first aid kits and hygiene supplies that he forgot to take some for himself. Gaelle was touched by the compassion and resilience of the people she was treating. She said, “I have seen my people deprived of everything they need but yet smiling for so little that we gave them.” The people of Haiti have a hard road ahead of them. Their recovery will be long and arduous, but MedShare will be there to give supplies and support. With the guidance of our partners on the ground, MedShare will continue our relief efforts long after other organizations leave. We know that disaster relief does not just occur in the weeks following a tragedy, it happens in the months and years to come. We are committed to lasting health and wellbeing in Haiti, and that health starts with us.
Learn About MedShare at: www.medshare.org