2.2.2010 Santo Domingo, The Dominican Republic
As I write, I am currently waiting in Santo Domingo to go by
land to Haiti around 2am. Haiti had a massive earthquake on 12
January 2010. Didn’t think too much of this, but a few days later I
had a call from the International Medical Corps asking me to be
part of a mental health programme, led by Dr Lynn Jones. This aims
to strengthen and develop mental health services after the
From that point it has been hectic trying to organise my travel
and all my arrangements. My employers, South West London and St.
George’s Mental Health NHS trust, have supported me fully in this
endeavour and have released me from my work for this time.
One of my tasks was to try and organise some medical supplies
for Haiti. Support has been incredible. Through fundraising, I
raised over £7000 of donations which has gone into buying
medication which I can take directly to Haiti. Sticking to the
required essential medication list, my three large boxes are packed
with haloperidol, procyclidine, amitryptiline, fluoxetine,
chlorpromazine to name a few. It is important to have a sustainable
medical supply until supplies are re-established.
My journey to Haiti was made smoother when people found out my
destination. Even at Heathrow, I was sped through towards the
plane. In Miami, staff literally blessed me on! It was touching and
certainly helped me get through transit to Santo Domingo. The
flight to the Dominican Republic was full of relief workers; many
were church-based and were from the US.
Santo Domingo - the scale of the earthquake really starts to hit
me. On international development work scales, this has been the
most exhausting, upsetting and personally demanding for those first
on site. The relief effort has been going remarkably well all
things considered. The first wave of emergency relief is coming to
an end and now is heading towards the stage of future sustainable
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