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Charity swamped with offers of help for Haiti

A CSP member from Dorset has travelled to Haiti to help treat victims of the country’s devastating earthquake, as British physios rally round to provide what help they can to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the disaster.

David Young, who works at Poole hospital, has volunteered to work with development organisation CBM in Haiti for three weeks, providing emergency care at one of the charity’s bases in the country. Before leaving he said he would not know exactly what treatment he would be asked to provide or where he would be working until he arrived in Haiti.

The Haitian government has estimated that last month’s earthquake killed 230,000 people and injured 300,000, and the current estimate of the number of amputees runs to more than 2,000, according to development organisation Handicap International.

The charity advertised in the last issue of Frontline for physios experienced in disaster relief to work in Haiti for at least two months, and a spokeswoman for the charity said there had been a good response to its appeal.

She said Handicap International was now finalising plans on how best to provide medium and long-term rehabilitation care for the victims.

Angela Hill, a learning disabilities physiotherapist with Southwark primary care trust, who works with the UK-based charity, Haiti Hospital Appeal, said her charity had been ‘inundated’ with calls from physios after Frontline’s story on the Haiti earthquake.

The charity had initially hoped to send one container of medical and rehabilitation supplies to the country, but instead sent three because so much equipment was donated. Another container is due to be sent later this month.

Angela Hill said parallel bars, PPAM aids, crutches, a full physio plinth and basic rehabilitation kit such as gym balls were most urgently needed. The charity is also hoping to send physiotherapists. The CSP is considering what kind of practical help it may be able to provide in the longer term, and the Society has matched staff donations to provide more than £1,000 for the relief appeal.

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