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6.1 Aftershock Hits Haiti; International Medical Corps Working to Assess the Damage and Continue Services in Leogane and Throughout Port-au-Prince

Thursday, January 21, 2010 General News J E 4
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 A 6.1-magnitude aftershock hit Haiti at 6:03 am Eastern Time. All International Medical Corps staff and medical teams are unharmed and are now working to assess the damage left by the strongest aftershock since the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti eight days ago.

"We are concerned about areas closer to the epicenter," says Margaret Aguirre, Director of Communications for International Medical Corps. "The extent of the damages and injuries from this aftershock are not yet clear."

International Medical Corps has set up a mobile medical unit in Leogane, the epicenter of last week's earthquake, providing emergency medical care to survivors. They are part of a larger mission that includes nurses, physicians, and International Medical Corps staff working throughout Port-au-Prince, including the Hopital de l'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti, a 700-bed hospital that is barely functioning where International Medical Corps is working to establish an emergency surgery facility with other NGOs.

International Medical Corps is also supporting medical posts throughout Port-au-Prince and operating out of a makeshift clinic at the Villa Creole Hotel. "We have partnered with other humanitarian leaders, including Hope for Haiti, Heart to Heart, AmeriCares, Bridge Foundation, Project Hope, International Relief Teams, and International Health Partners UK, to get critical medicines and supplies into Port-au-Prince," says Aguirre. "Our team has secured and delivered, millions in medications and medical supplies, including tetanus hyper immune globulin."

International Medical Corps is also working with a group of Haitian medical students to train them in basic first aid and more advanced care. "With much of the health care infrastructure completely devastated, we are already working to build the capacity of Haiti's health workers through training and education," says Aguirre. "This is embodies our mission -- from relief to self-reliance -- and is International Medical Corps' priority so that communities get the support they need to recover."

International Medical Corps' Emergency Response draws on 25 years experience in emergency settings, including last September's earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, and the massive 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Donate to the International Medical Corps by texting HAITI to 85944 or visit www.imcworldwide.org

International Medical Corps relieves the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease by delivering vital health care services that focus on training, helping devastated populations return to self-reliance.

SOURCE International Medical Corps
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