MaterCare is an organization of Catholic health professionals dedicated to the care of mothers and babies, both born and unborn,through new initiatives of service, training, research and advocacy, which are designed to reduce the tragically high rates of maternal mortality, morbidity and abortion.
MaterCare's mission is to serve the Culture of Life where it is most at risk - in those crisis areas and "hotspots" where mothers and children are neglected or abandoned outright.
WE NEED VOLUNTEER DOCTORS AND NURSES
The devastation in Port au Prince, as seen on TV, seems almost complete with tens of thousands of deaths. However, little seems to be known about the rural areas. . The suffering of the population in particular mothers who have recently delivered their babies and those about to deliver is extraordinary. Pregnancy does not stop because of a disaster of this kind. These mothers have also endured the earthquake, suffered injury and the loss of children, husbands and other family members and in its aftermath they face infectious disease from contaminated water as well as starvation. For the mothers about to deliver the situation is particularly bleak since, with the total loss of 6 hospitals in the capital with their medical and nursing staffs, they have few options for safe, clean, facilities, in which to deliver or the help of doctors or midwives. So in all likelihood, as their homes have been destroyed, they simply deliver in misery where they lie, in the open without any dignity or privacy.
International relief has been slow to develop because of the massive destruction of infrastructure. Most emergency aid is for immediate needs, water, blankets, medicines, first aid and trauma surgery. However, as a colleague recently remarked that it almost seems that with these type of tragic circumstances somehow the world believes that life simply stops, so emergency obstetrical care for life threatening complications is not an immediate priority. The result is an enormous increase in the number of maternal deaths.
MCI's mission is to provide obstetrical services wherever they are required. For Haiti the first requirement is for a needs assessment, to find a reasonably intact hospital in which to work to assess, equipment needs and then to assemble a volunteer emergency team of obstetricians, general surgeons, paediatricians and anaesthetists and nurses. Before we send these teams we have to find accommodation and board and ensure the safety of the volunteers. We are working to get two doctors into Port au Prince next week to carry out this preliminary work.
MCIs commitment will be for the long term to help rebuild maternal health care which will take a lot of organization and funding. An appeal has been made for volunteer specialists and nurses to the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and the Provincial Nurses Union but more than likely we will have to extend that appeal to Canada, the USA and overseas.
MCI needs funds immediately to cover airfares, and then later for the accommodation, food, visas inoculations and anti-malarial medications and later for medical/obstetrical equipment and furniture etc The Government of Canada has donated $50 million for Haitian Relief, to be distributed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) which has announced that all donations from Canadians, between January 14th and February 14th will be matched. Your response is urgently needed.
Please be generous.
With Many thanks
Dr Rob Walley
United States of America:
Donations ear marked for Dr. Walley’s trip to Haiti can be made by check to MaterCare USA . Unfortunately we are unable to accept Credit Card donations at this time but we are working on it and will notify you as soon as it becomes possible. All donations will be sent directly to the MaterCare International’s Haitian Relief Effort. Please mail your donations to: MaterCare USA, 212 Buchanan Street, Centerport, NY 11721-1204. Checks should be made out to MaterCare USA and please write HAITI on the note part of the check. A tax deductible receipt will be sent to you.
Thank you for your generous contributions and prayers, please check the MaterCare website www.MaterCare.org for updates.
Polly Duff, President, MaterCare USA
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MaterCare USA is a not for profit registered 501 (c) 3
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