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Haiti's Quake Survivors Seek Care in Dominican RepublicTim King Salem-News.com
UNICEF hopes to have safe spaces for all under five children in Port au Prince by the end of the week.
(SANTO DOMINGO/SALEM) - As the logistical challenges that have hampered the relief effort in Haiti begin to get ironed out, some of the injured have been brought to the Dominican Republic.
The Dario Contreras Hospital in Santo Domingo is the city’s primary care center. Staff there have been mobilized to treat Haitians, especially children who have been suffering from injuries sustained in last week’s devastating earthquake.
The children, at the hospital range in age from one month to fourteen years.
Dr. Antonio Coplin at Dario Contreras Hospital said, “We have received many children. I couldn’t say how many because I don’t have the totals. But there are several children with fractures and trauma.”
Hospitals along the border, particularly the town of Jimani have been inundated with Haitians seeking treatment for trauma, crush injuries and exhaustion. These facilities say they simply do not have the capacity to treat all these patients and the growing demand, so they’re brought here to facilities in Santo Domingo, the Dario Contreras hospital.
The hospital is just the first step for these children. UNICEF is working with the National Council of Children to create safe spaces for them when it comes time to leave.
Dominican women, meanwhile, are ensuring that the babies have adequate food.
Another physician, Dr. Hector Quezada,Director, Dario Contreras Hospital, said, "A lot of infant children have arrived at the hospital without their parents. They need mother’s milk to continue to live. And some women have volunteered as breast feeders. We currently have some Dominican mothers who have donated their milk to feed these infants. This is a gesture of a generosity and solidarity of mankind."
UNICEF will be working with the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic to meet the medical needs of children and their families and also to establish facilities to help them deal with their psychological trauma.
It hopes to have safe spaces for all under five children in Port au Prince by the end of the week.
Special thanks to the UN video crews on the ground in Haiti and the Dominican Republic:
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