GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Cleanup continues in Haiti after last week’s devastating earthquake killed 2, 189 people and injured 12, 268 individuals.
Yesterday, the Associated Press, said relief efforts have begun moving more quickly, but challenges remain.
Local organizations, non-profit groups, and individuals are trying to do whatever they can to help the thousands left homeless.
With the earthquake hitting a part of the country far away from the airport, and the problems with the country’s infrastructure, the roads, electricity, water, waste, and government corruption, makes transportation of supplies challenging.
“It’s frustrating to try to get equipment and supplies there, but it also at the same time, is all the more necessary for the help to get there because they don’t have the resources of being in a major city,” said Dr. Matthew Thompson, Ophthalmologist, Tower Clock Eye Center.
Dr. Matthew Thompson, an Ophthalmologist in Green Bay, has traveled to Haiti nearly 20 times to provide quality eye care, surgeries, and to train Haitian doctors.
He will be traveling to Haiti in just a few weeks, right when the need for more doctors has never been greater.
“It’s sometimes difficult to concentrate on the work that you’re doing when you look at the human being that often has no hope, there’s nothing you can do for them, and if they were back here in Wisconsin, there would be a lot I could do for them. It could be hard to concentrate on what I’m doing to take care of them and it’s been so hard for the Haitian people, that a lot of them have gotten used to it,” said Dr. Thompson.
Challenges remain getting aid through to some of the hardest-hit areas and to the right people. Dr. Thompson said regarding the government corruption, “there’s always going to be people that take advantage of the system.”
“We have to be cognizant of that fact so that it does get to the right spot and not into someone else’s hands,” said Dr. John Hale, Medical Director, Friends of Haiti.
Friends of Haiti, a non-profit group in Green Bay, said they were going to work on sending supplies to those affected, but because there is so little to give, they decided to put their focus on other organizations which can have a bigger impact.
Dr. Thompson, who is a member of Friends of Haiti and FOCUS, says the best way to actually get aid to the people who need it most, is to donate and provide resources to local and small organizations and non-profit groups directly connected to Haiti.
For more information on Dr. Thompson’s groups he represents, Friends of Haiti and the organizations they have partnered with, click the links below.
- Friends of Haiti
- FOCUS- Foundation for Ophthalmologist Care from the United States
- Partners in Health
- Haitian American Nurses Association
- Food for the Poor
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