The Haiti earthquake, which is thought to have killed up to 200,000 people, is also estimated to have injured 250,000 more and the number of injuries is increasing steadily. Although no precise figures are available, it is evident that the need is very high and among them about 1/3 will potentially develop secondary disabilities. The lack of professional Physical Therapy in Haiti does not allow proper rehabilitation.Â Artificial limb fitting will be needed in Haiti on a massive scale, and the country’s lack of healthcare infrastructure means disability rehabilitation will be difficult to provide.
Physiotherapists wanting to help treat victims of the earthquake are now being sought by non-governmental organisations and charities working in Haiti.
HI is looking for physiotherapists and occupational therapists to work in Haitian hospitals and displaced persons camps to help people recover from their injuries, avoid secondary complications, and prevent or mitigate long-term disability.Â Ideally, staff should have experience of working in disaster relief. They must also be prepared to work 12 hour days, live in tented accommodation and survive on rationed food and water. A six-week minimum commitment is also needed.Â Applications, including a CV, a covering letter, and three professional referees, should be sent to [email protected]
The Christian Blind Mission charity is also recruiting physios to work for six months in Port-au-Prince, with a sound knowledge of disability issues, and experience of working with orthotics and prosthetics.Â Experience of working on disaster relief is key and applications must be submitted by February 24 to [email protected]
UK-based charity Haiti Hospital Appeal has already sent a container of medical supplies and medicines to Haiti and it is planning to send a second. The charity is hoping to include a significant amount of rehabilitation equipment in the second container, and details of what can be donated can be found on their website.