Haiti in deplorable state
Saddening stories continue to be reported from earthquake-hit Haiti. Mustafa Öztürk, a member of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation relief team in the country, wrote his observations.
South America, Haiti 27.01.2010

Öztürk noted that the humanitarian situation remained deplorable two weeks after the earthquake.

The following is the impression of Mr. Öztürk about the humanitarian situation in Haiti:

Mustafa Öztürk on the IHH team

We landed in Dominican Republic on 21 January 2010 night after a 12-hour long flight. We could not find a room in any hotel; so they took us to Nour Mosque. There are about 500 Muslims in the entire country. The following day we purchased the relief supplies on the list sent by the IHH team in Haiti. It took us a whole day to arrange the vehicles that would carry the supplies. We set out in the morning but the trucks were running slowly and had frequent punctures. The 285-km distance took 15 hours to travel. Highways in Dominican Republic until the Haiti border are in good condition. But Haitian highways were in bad condition even before the earthquake.

Haitian state bodies not functional

There were no customs control at the Haitian border. Nobody checked and sealed our passports. We reached the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, which was hit by 7.0-magnitutde earthquake, at night and unloaded the trucks by 01:00 a.m. 

There is a growing security problem in the country. He following day we went to the place where we would set up a health clinic. We made some plans and started working.

Bodies of victims lie in streets

The situation is quite deplorable in areas hit severely by the quake. Bodies of the victims are lying in the streets. Some have been burnt. The smell of the unburied bodies is disturbing. People were picking through ruins. Security is absent in tent towns. The United Nations mission in the country is not functional and is in no state to organize aid deliveries. Looting events are growing.

Three Turkish physicians are treating 200 patients daily

The IHH health team provides health services to 200 patients daily.

Health services are not adequate; epidemic breakouts are imminent. The IHH medical team of surgeons Ali Alemdar, Giray Yavuz and emergency intervention physician Ali Yalçın are examining and treating 200 Haitian patients every day. Over 1,000 patients have been treated so far by the team. Medical services such as stitching and injury dressing are provided. The services came particularly as a relief to the injured children. Haitian patients form long lines at the health clinic.    

There is a growing need for medication. Although the IHH team has adequate supplies of medication, they will soon need more. We have started preparations to bring more medication from the neighboring Dominican Republic. The morale of our physicians is high.  

Tires are used to burn bodies

Bodies of the dead are burnt on tires where they are found

Looting is reported in several regions. You can see bodies in the streets and among ruins. There were some child bodies inside a suitcase at road side. The unburied bodies are burnt on tires. Dogs are eating unclaimed bodies. People are looting whatever they can find regardless of bodies and smell. The IHH team distributes food to 700 people every day at 13:00 p.m. Orphans staying at a damaged orphanage are given food first. Today we distributed foodstuff to 2,000 people. The UN police provided security during the delivery. We are looking for a safe building to shelter the orphans. Meanwhile, we are trying to bring 100 orphans to Turkey.  

Dogs are eating body remains

Organ mafia and human traffickers threatening quake survivors

Thousands of orphans have been smuggled out of the country by western missionary organizations, organ mafia and human traffickers. Some orphans are kidnapped to be used as slave and prostitutes. The Haitian government is very weak. It is hard to talk about a functional Haitian state. Haiti is undoubtedly the worst country for orphans now.

 

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