With Limited Supplies, Columbia Doctors and Nurses Provide Care in Haiti
Since Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake, Columbia doctors and nurses have been on the ground as part of the relief effort and are now helping local organizations rebuild the country’s healthcare system. Their pictures provide just a glimpse into the challenges of providing care amidst the devastation.
Six doctors affiliated with Columbia’s International Emergency Medicine Fellowship, a joint program of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, were in Haiti immediately following the earthquake as part of a collaboration with the International Medical Corps, a nongovernmental organization. They were among a number of students and recent alumni serving in Haiti as first responders through organizations such as Partners in Health, United Nations Children’s Fund and the U.S. Navy.
The doctors worked alongside other professionals in tents erected in the streets, sidewalks and grassy areas around the destroyed hospital. The beds of patients were outside too, sometimes in the open air or among a grove of trees. They stayed in Haiti for roughly four weeks, working mostly in Port-au-Prince but also in rural clinics.
The School of Nursing has also sent faculty and alumni to Haiti through the International Medical Corps —18 so far—and will continue to do so on a weekly basis. It has partnered with the Haitian national university nursing school as part of its commitment to help rebuild Haiti’s nursing infrastructure. The university nursing school was damaged significantly during the earthquake and much of its staff was killed or wounded.