Sunday, January 31, 2010

Erin In Haiti – Sabbath In Haiti

Mike blogging for Erin.

Here is an interactive map of Port au Prince, Haiti to help you better understand where Erin and the other members of the 14 member Disaster Response team are living and serving.

View DRM Med team #1 in a larger map

  • The tent icon is the Dikini Camp where the 12,000 refugees are housed and where the team is hosting their daily medical clinics.
  • The school icon is the Quisqueya School, the site of the home base and where the relief team is sleeping in tents of their own.
  • The circle icon is the epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit on January 12th.

Translators have been very good. Esaie Etienne (MTW missionary and Haitian national) continually works with the medical team asking how they are doing and what needs to be changed so that the translators can be more helpful. The team’s first request was to establish a mechanism where the relief team can personally pray with each patient.

A couple of relief organizations were traveling around on Sunday purifying water from the city water system to help hydrate the people. But, even with these efforts drinkable water is scarce and unsanitary.

Because of the poor quality drinking water and unsanitary conditions there is an outbreak of diarrhea amongst most of the aid workers living at the Quisqueya School. This can quickly turn into a major problem and further exacerbate the already tenuous hydration concerns. Everyone on the team is taking daily medication to try and fend off these problems. The team is being very careful with food and is purifying water from the showers for drinking.

Markets and street vendors have popped up to address some of the basic needs of the people. Price gouging is rampant. The team paid $100 for two cases of water, two jars of peanut butter and some bread.

On Sunday the team attended morning worship service lead by Esaie at the team's camp site. The second half of the day the team held a medical clinic that lasted five hours. They treated 150-200 people including a young girl whose hand they had to amputate.

The team is still seeing dead bodies in the streets and demolished buildings are everywhere you look. Erin said that no picture does justice to the immensity of the tent cities the refugees are living in. The tent cities go on for as far as your eye can see.

Following Erin’s accidental cut with a contaminated scalpel (earlier reported as a needle) on Saturday the patient and Erin were both tested for HIV and both came back negative. A Hepatitis C test is scheduled to come back soon.

Erin's Spanish is coming in handy. Spanish is taught in the schools in Haiti and most people know a little bit. Sometimes the translators have trouble with English and ask Erin in Spanish how to say a word.

Prayer needs: 1) Pray for unique opportunities to minister through the disaster, especially to people that may have been overlooked by others. 2) Pray for a night of good rest for the MTW team tonight as a long and hot Monday awaits them. 3) Pray that the diarrhea caused by poor sanitation and poor drinking water passes and all the aide workers have good health.


Zoe said...

Thanks so much Mike for doing these updates! I check every few hours for a new one and am praying for you guys big time. I'm SO proud of you and what Erin is doing. Proud to be a fellow believer. I wish so badly there was something I could do there to help and that I had the resources to go. But since I cant, I'm so glad somebody could! If you get a chance, please tell her we are praying for her health and safety!

Anonymous said...

Mike, Erin,

We're here to help with epidemic situational awareness.

You can follow our SitReps one of several ways:

Visit our website, “Haiti: Operational Biosurveillance” at

Subscribe to RSS feed (

Follow our Twitter account at

Receive and report SMS / text messaging via geochat, courtesy of InSTEDD. Sign up at and then sign up for the group called “CIRAlert”. Note, if you are on the ground in Haiti, you are able to use this service.

We’ve got multiple analysts, including veterinary support, now watching things on our end in four languages.

Jim Wilson, MD

CR said...

It is quite a relief that she tested neg for hiv And I praise God. I'm hoping for an similar positive report for the hep c.