Haiti: Updates from a pediatrician on the ground

Lester Hartman, MD, is a Children’s-affiliated pediatrician who works at Westwood-Mansfield Pediatric Associates. For several years he has run a clinic in the mountains of Haiti through a program called the Haitian Organization Program For Education And Health. Hartman made his way to the region within days of this week’s earthquake. Below are three updates from Hartman as he has tries to make his way to the clinic and begins to grasp the level of devastation caused by the earthquake.

Friday, January 15, 5:53 pm – We are heading to the DR [Dominican Republic] Haiti border in a little bit and drive thru the night as is 6 hrs and then we will cross in am in a faltbed truck with $8000 US meds plus PLUMPY NUT- hi calorie peanut butter paste for malnourished kids. This may be my last contact until crossing the border back. Lots of Haitians trying to cross the border.

Friday, January 15, 2010 6:01 pm – We are in the mountains our clinic is intact. We will arrive at the clinic tomorrow with additional meds to help with the evacuees coming up the mountain. We are 5 miles west of Lascohabos in the Central Plateau region. This is Katrina X100. We expect to see more malnutrition.

Saturday, January 16 9:34 am – Got stuck in DR but found generous pharmacist who is getting us meds/ we got $6000 US food [and] about $6000 meds. It’s a drop in the bucket but at least it is a drop. This is going to be Katrina x 1000 and  my childhood home was flooded in Katrina. Our director is planning to bring victims up from PAP [Port au Prince]. Who knows, we might have a tent city. Heading out to Haiti in about 1-2 hrs. Not sure what our access will be.

We’ll update you on Hartman’s progress and that of the Children’s team that has been trying to get to Haiti since earlier this week as soon as we have more information.