Aid reaches nursing home residents in Haiti


An older woman sits in her wheelchair among the rubble of the municipal nursing home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. An older woman sits in her wheelchair among the rubble of the municipal nursing home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo: Leah Gordon/HelpAge International 2010

HelpAge International and local partners in Haiti have been working in nursing homes in Port-au-Prince. We have been assessing the needs of older people and distributing medical supplies.

Medical staff on the ground

Medical staff from our partner CARPA have been examining patients in the Municipal Nursing Home in Bel Air, Port-au-Prince. CARPA doctors also visited the UN hospital to collect free medical supplies which will be given out today.

Currently around 600 temporary living camps have been set up in the Haitian capital. HelpAge is aiming to support ten of them, including one near the Municipal Nursing Home.

Two of our emergencies team, Sarah Packwood and Margaret Chilcot, visited the home yesterday with two CARPA doctors to deliver medicines including antibiotics.

They also brought tarpaulins which they tied to the branches of trees to provide the older people with some shade from the tropical heat.

More caregivers needed

Margaret Chilcott explained:

"We will hire someone to do some cooking and get water points set up. We can see that more caregivers are urgently needed.

"I saw one man not eating despite his hunger, apparently because he couldn't eat without help.

"We are now responding and trying to get more medical supplies to the older people in the home. We are able to get hold of supplies, but the problem is that delivery and distribution mechanisms are extremely weak.

"There are also large numbers of destitute people all around the home which makes it difficult to deliver specifically to the care home residents."

Food supplies to reach 300 people

HelpAge are working with partner CARPA and affiliate SHAA to get food supplies to 300 people.

Richard Blewitt, Chief Executive of HelpAge International, said:

"For all our staff and partners on the ground, the challenges of intermittent communications and power, and of getting hold of vehicles and sufficient fuel continue.

"This is affecting how soon we can respond to the plight of people in the nursing homes and beyond."

Our Emergencies team and partners have been heartened by the news that £42 million has already been raised by the UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Haiti Earthquake Appeal since its launch on 14 January. These funds will be shared between the 13 DEC members.

How you can help

We urgently need more funds to help us get aid to those who really need it and to support longer-term relief.

If you are a UK citizen, please donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Haiti Earthquake Appeal now.

If you live outside the UK, you can donate to our Haiti relief efforts through:

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