Established in Toronto, 2005 in response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Volunteer-based, grassroots , non- profit organization Non-religious Non-political Provides emergency medical relief Made up of paramedics, nurses, physicians, rehab, logistics and more. Charitable tax status granted in 2008
Beneficiaries: women, children and elderly suffering from natural disaster or conflict Emergency medical disaster assessment Medical relief work through inflatable field hospitals SPHERE accredited (www.sphereproject.org) SPHERE PROJECT: code of conduct governing effective, humane distribution of disaster relief to ensure under represented and vulnerable groups receive aid.
Small, nimble, ‘virtual’ organization 6 board members (cross Canada make-up) 1 part-time Administrator Donated Office Space Major use of internet technologies to save costs and maximize deployment speed Searchable electronic database of nearly 500 medical and non- medical volunteers across Canada
Similar organizations: International Red Cross Care World Vision Medcins Sans FrontiersCMAT – CANADIAN, EH?!A truly “made in Canada” national NGOCanadians are VERY generous! 5
3 million homeless200,000 dead300,000 injured/ treated.250,000 residences destroyed30,000 commercial buildings destroyedMajor damage to the capitol Port-au-Prince, and other major citiesAmong those killed: Archbishop of Haiti, Government opposition leader, United Nations Head of Mission in Haiti, many international aid workers.
7.0 Mw magnitude earthquake . This magnitude could cause moderate to very heavy damage even to earthquake-resistant structures. Occurred inland, approximately 25 kilometres from Port-au-Prince Also felt in surrounding countries and regions, including Cuba , Jamaica , Venezuela, Puerto Rico , and Dominican Republic. Population approximately 3.5 million people Quake occurred where tectonic plate shifts eastwards 20 mm per year . Geologists indicate the January 2010 quake was caused by a major rupture of the fault, which had been locked for 250 years, gathering stress. The rupture was roughly 65 kilometres long and caused a shift of 1.8 metres (5.9 ft)
A 2006 earthquake study predicted a worst-case scenario of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. The team recommended more "high priority" studies, as this fault line was fully locked and had recorded very few earthquakes in the preceding 40 years. An article published in Haitis Le Matin newspaper in September 2008 comments by geologist Patrick Charles to the effect that there was a high risk of major seismic activity in Port-au-Prince
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere It is ranked 149th of 182 countries on the Human Development Index Country is considered "economically vulnerable" by the Food and Agriculture Organization. It is no stranger to natural disasters; in addition to earthquakes, it has been struck frequently by hurricanes, which have caused flooding and widespread damage. The most recent hurricanes to hit the island prior to the earthquake were Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike, all in the summer of 2008, causing nearly 800 deaths.
Infrastructure, health care, governance were all a challenge before the earthquake Years of political unrest Significant United Nations peacekeeping presence Half the children are unvaccinated Only 40% of population have access to health care Significant number of deaths prior to the earthquake were due to HIV/ AIDS, as 5% of adult population is infected. 90% of children suffer from intestinal parasites Tuberculosis, Malaria and other diseases are prevalent.
A 6-member assessment team departed Miami on January 16th.
Liaised with United Nations, conducted needs assessment, assisted with search and rescue and provided some medical care provided upon arrival.
Assessment team found need to be greatest in city of Léogâne
29km west of Haitian Capitol Port-au-Prince Approximately 2 hour drive Prior to the earthquake city had a large nursing school. an old hospital, Sainte-Croix (Holy Cross), which had closed two years previously. Léogâne was at the epicenter of the earthquake, and a United Nations assessment team found that Léogâne was "the worst affected area" with 80 to 90% of buildings damaged and no remaining government infrastructure. Nearly every concrete structure was destroyed. The damage was also reported to be worse than the capital. The military estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 people had died from the earthquake in Léogâne. People have congregated in ad hoc squatter camps and relief has taken longer to reach Léogâne.
10-person medical team, which was on standby awaiting further instruction mobilized on January 18th, with field hospital and medical supplies.
1 orthopaedic surgeon1 anaesthesiologist2 general practitioners (MD)2 nurse practitioners (NP)4 registered nurses (RN2 advanced care paramedics (ACP)3 primary care paramedics (PCP)1 logisticianLocal volunteer translators and drivers (6-10)
Canadian Forces: Army – armed protection Navy – HMCS Athabaskan