AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Dr. John Pope with Akron Children’s Hospital started assisting medical colleagues and patients at a hospital just outside of Port Au Prince, Haiti after a catastrophic earthquake in 2010.
Now, the heartbreaking scene has happened again. In the wake of last Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake and the death toll rising, doctors say the need to send aid is urgent.
“What kinds of things do they need? Yeah, I think pretty much anything you would need in a hospital. I think medications would be a big thing and just standard, everyday equipment like IV, catheters, ” said Pope.
Medical teams from Akron have made several medical mission trips to Haiti in the past. Young patients have even traveled to Ohio for life-saving heart surgeries and procedures not available in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
“What happens after a disaster like that is that all the diseases that are normally out there are just getting worse,” Pope said. “And malnutrition gets worse.”
Pope says due to a country also dealing with political unrest, their medical mission had to leave the country in 2019.
“Things were getting better and recently have now taken a turn for the worse,” he said.
He says thankfully, the hospital where he worked, located four hours away from the earthquake’s epicenter, was not damaged. Still, they are assisting in the recovery efforts.
“The one thing about the people of Haiti, they are extremely resilient and it’s gratifying to be able to try and help them out.”
Medicine and medical supplies are now being sent to Akron from all over the country. The goal is to have the items sent to Haiti next month.
Monetary donations can be made to Akron Children’s Office of Pediatric Global Health for supplies and medicine for Haiti.
Donations can be made online or by contacting Tim DuFore at 330-810-5826 or firstname.lastname@example.org