We are honored to have Ann Varghese of IMA World Health guest blog about her experiences & work in Haiti during and after the earthquake:
As we approach the 1 year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, I have very mixed emotions. I was in Haiti on January 12 last year and was trapped under the rubble of the Hotel Montana with 5 other colleagues for 55 hours. Four of us were rescued and survived the ordeal. Two of our colleagues and hundreds of thousands of others were not so lucky. The numbers are sobering, over 300,000 killed, over 1 million displaced, countless left injured and amputated, millions throughout the country affected. Although much of what we hear about Haiti highlights the loss and suffering, there are many people and organizations working to improve the lives of Haitians.
I am a Program Officer with IMA World Health and I work with an in-country staff of only 6 who have done an tremendous job of restarting our programs and distributing much needed medicines and supplies throughout the country. We implement a Neglected Tropical Disease program that targets diseases you have probably never heard of, but we were able to treat over 4 million people in Haiti last year, despite setbacks due to the quake. This year we continue and will also distribute 800,000 TOMS shoes to Haitian children, as well as millions of dollars in medicine and supplies. You will see some of the children we have reached in the photos. I applaud the efforts of Prosperity Candle for devoting a full year to raising money for Haiti through Partners in Health. Every bit helps when there is so much need. Whether you buy a candle, donate money, work in Haiti, or just pray for the people of Haiti, please DO SOMETHING, it does make a difference!
~ Ann Varghese, IMA World Health