I am overwhelmed by the generosity in the borough’
PUBLISHED: 17:29 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 10:30 12 August 2010
AN AID worker has briefed a secretary of state on how a hospital appeal is helping to save lives in a country torn apart by earthquakes. Reninca Hill, trustee of the Haiti Hospital Appeal project, near Haiti island s Cap-Haitien, met with International D
AN AID worker has briefed a secretary of state on how a hospital appeal is helping to save lives in a country torn apart by earthquakes.
Reninca Hill, trustee of the Haiti Hospital Appeal project, near Haiti island's Cap-Haitien, met with International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, on Monday to discuss how aid is being distributed and to secure long-term support.
Mrs Hill, 29, returned from Haiti for two weeks to rally support for the charity based at Coney Baptist Church, West Wickham, where she will host an open event at 10.30am this Sunday.
The former teacher, who now lives in Haiti, was "overwhelmed" by the generosity of people in the borough who have made scores of donations.
Organisations have given the charity beds, de-fibrillators and basic medical supplies, all of which is being sent by container to the stricken island of Haiti next Monday.
After meeting with the Development Secretary, Mrs Hill said: "The purpose was to discuss how to sustain help to victims in the long-term.
"People in Haiti are scared and frightened, which has led to a massive refugee crisis. They are moving north away from Port-au-Prince by any means possible.
"Victims are arriving with nothing, they have had no basic health care."
A team of British doctors and nurses arranged by the charity is due to fly out tomorrow to help thousands of injured refugees and orphans arriving at their hospital which is acting as an overflow for the only government hospital in the region.
The charity has an ambulance making missions into devastated areas to deliver food and medicine, notably villages overlooked by major agencies.
Her husband Carwyn, from Bromley, remains in Haiti working in the hospital and orphanage which was opened ahead of schedule in response to the disaster, as reported in the Times.
Mrs Hill, 26, said: "Last Friday my husband went to an orphanage with 80 children, which was only 10 minutes away from the airport.
"Five had died in the quake and they salvaged what they could.
"They were in a desperate state, so he dropped off sacks of rice, beans, sweets and vital medical supplies.
"When people say that aid is not getting to them, it feels terrible.
"Most of our hospital staff have lost family members, everybody knows someone who has died in the tragedy.
"We were in Port-au-Prince and asked a mother at the roadside for directions. Her husband and children had died. I asked her 'How are you coping?' and she said that life has to go on or she wouldn't eat that night. It's heartbreaking."
Mr Hill gave up his job in 2006 to set up the Haiti Hospital Appeal project after seeing the island's desperate poverty, which is blamed for the deaths of one in five children.
He said that seeing donations pour in from schools, churches and Facebook groups has helped inspire his team to overcome fatigue.
In his blog on Monday he said: "Many doctors I've spoken to have highlighted their fear over the traumatic effect this disaster has had on the population.
"We brought two injured patients from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien last week, and yesterday I heard that since arriving they've refused to sleep inside a house.
"One lady arrived yesterday with terrible injuries to her face and arm. The wound looked as bad as anything I have seen in Haiti, the pain indescribable.
"Yet, our clinic was the first centre she'd reached for care, over a week and a half on from receiving these desperate wounds."
The United Nations expect nearly half a million people to be left physically disabled.
Though a team of US orthopaedic surgeons is arriving at Mr Hill's hospital, ill-equipped doctors elsewhere have had to make unnecessary amputations.
The Red Cross has launched an appeal for people to take stock such as quality clothes, books and unwanted gifts to their local Red Cross Shop. To find your branch call 01883 724 222 or visit www.redcross.org.uk/retail.
Local donations include £250 from Biggin Hill and Westerham Lions Club through The Lions Club International Foundation, which has raised £250,000 in total. To support the vital work being done by the Haiti Hospital Appeal, visit www.haitihospitalappeal.org. Medical volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org. email@example.com
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