Friday, July 09, 2010

A new viewpoint on Haiti from a returning Doctor

As Haiti is in the midst of it's hurricane season the people who still live in the tent camps are getting soaked. It has now been six months since the earthquake, yet many do not have adequate shelter. The reasons for this are many and a government that was destroyed in the earthquake, many NGOs and aid groups stepping all over each other.

Today we found a story on Haiti from a newspaper other than the Miami Herald... From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review writer Rick Wills talks to Dr. Rosemary Edwards, a pathologist at Butler Memorial Hospital; who just got back from Haiti.

"Port-au-Prince was getting back to its frenetic chaos," Edwards, 51, a pathologist at Butler Memorial Hospital, said Thursday.

If life in Haiti is more predictable than five months ago, the country -- dysfunctional and poverty-plagued before a devastating Jan. 12 earthquake -- is looking at years of challenges.

The six-month anniversary of the quake is Monday. At least 1.5 million Haitians now inhabit cramped tent settlements.

"It is really surreal. People are living very close together," Edwards said. "My fear is that people will get used to living there, and the tent cities will become permanent."

In the short term, tropical rains are soaking the capital daily three weeks into hurricane season, while construction is being held up by land disputes and customs delays. More than 100,000 homes destroyed by the earthquake, in addition to 1,300 schools and 50 hospitals, must be rebuilt.

"It is really slow-going there. Because institutions there are so weak, it becomes difficult to absorb aid and difficult to rebuild," said Susan K. Purcell, director of the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami.

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