Haiti Earthquake Update 3: Mobile X-ray Units Reach Destination
IAEA-supplied Equipment Crucial for Long-term Medical Relief of Earthquake Victims
Juan Antonio Casas-Zamora, Director of the IAEA Division for Latin America, Technical Cooperation, on the IAEA´s response to the Haiti earthquake.
- Story Resources
- Video: Haiti Earthquake Update 3: Mobile X-ray Units Reach Destination
- Haiti Earthquake Update 2: IAEA Sends 8 Mobile X-Ray Units, 29 January 2010
- Haiti Earthquake Update: IAEA to Supply Mobile X-Ray Units, 22 January 2010
- IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation
- Division for Latin America
- Pan-American Health Organisation
- Siemens AG
Eight mobile X-ray units, purchased by the IAEA as medical relief for those injured in the earthquake that devastated Haiti on 12 January 2010, have reached their destination in Port au Prince. The Haitian authorities who received the units are now set to send them out to the respective hospitals for deployment.
The three digital and five analogue X-ray machines will be used by doctors diagnosing and treating injuries for the long-term care of the population, boosting the country´s radiography capabilities crippled in the earthquake.
"You have many patients who now need long-term care, with tests and X-rays that need to be done over time," explains Juan Antonio Casas-Zamora, Director of the IAEA Division for Latin America, Technical Cooperation.
For example, the units are expected to be used in the care of respiratory infections, as experts are predicting that the rain season will likely have health consequences for people not living in adequate housing.
"There is an estimation of almost a million people being displaced from their homes who are living literally open-air," says Casas-Zamora.
"We are going to see a high level of respiratory infections that will require some sort of exams including X-rays."
The IAEA has also received requests from the Haitian Government to see how it can help support the development of the X-rays capacity in the country´s hospitals once these begin to be re-established, rebuilt or reconfigured.
"That´s probably going to be the next stage of our cooperation to help re-establish radiology services on a more regular basis using fixed X-ray machines and capacities in the country over the next few years," explains Casas-Zamora.
Germany´s Siemens offered the X-ray units at a special discount to the IAEA in view of the humanitarian needs in Haiti.
"Siemens´ exceptional support for the IAEA´s assistance was a key factor in its successful completion this week," says Davide Poggio, Unit Head in the IAEA´s Division of Procurement Services.
"Siemens understood the need to supply these units to help resolve a humanitarian emergency, searching its warehouses in the Americas and Europe. They further offered to provide expert installation support in Haiti should the need arise," he says.
The units were sent from Erlangen, Germany to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where they were trucked to Porte-au-Prince. Power sources and the accessories needed to operate the mobile X-ray units to be used effectively and safely were also delivered.
In the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 January 2010, the Pan-American Health Organization alerted its partners, including the IAEA, that trauma care was one of the most urgent public health priorities.
An estimated 250 000 injured require care, while radiography capabilities in the country are severely reduced.
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By Giovanni Verlini, IAEA Division of Public Information, based on previous reporting by Kirstie Hansen.