Thursday, January 14, 2010

Doing What One Can

There are many stories and posts out there about the awful situation in Haiti, and how people are trying to help. Here is one more suggestion, from the people at TED:

We believe one of the organizations best placed to make an immediate difference is Partners in Health. They have operated medical facilities in Haiti for more than two decades and have numerous people on the ground. (We had the honor of working with them as part of President Clinton's TED Prize wish. They're trustable and effective.)

We asked how best the TED community could help and this was their response. Do join us in making a donation here.

Help us track down helicopters! That's our #1 need right now is transport. There are thousands of badly injured ppl in Port-au-Prince, and there are PIH hospitals, supplies and teams standing ready to treat them in the central plateau. It's a long, difficult drive over uncertain roads -- OR a 10-min helo ride.

Satellite phones! Cell communications are mostly down and we can't send docs out into Port-au-Prince with no way to be in touch

Donate medicine, food, blankets, supplies ... anyone with in-kind products to donate can write to

Lend your time and skills -- we need experienced trauma surgeons, pediatric trauma surgeons, burn specialists, nurse anesthetists, trauma nurses

We need solar chargers, generators, fuel for generators

Water purification that does not require electricity -- so massive quanitities of water purification tablets or a system that is standalone

Transport -- we have had a few offers of private planes plus a big Air Canada jet -- we are filling them with doctors and supplies and mobilizing

Donate at (Note that you can specify "Haiti Earthquake Relief" by using the "Program" button.)


  1. For what it is worth, a faith based organization, Aqua Clara offers a free design of a home water purification system built with local materials. The water output exceeds WHO water purity standards. I first learned about this on an Engineers Without Borders conference call presentation. This is really ingenious. Aqua Clara is patenting the inventions soley to prevent some scoundrel from doing the same and trying to charge for the design. Have a look at:

  2. More information on Aqua Clara can be found in their brochures. The powdered metal disinfectant is basically copper shavings. It has been effective water purification for centuries.

  3. I had already written my check to PIH when I read your post. I have been a fan of theirs ever since I read Tracy Kidder's book, "Mountains beyond Mountains" about Dr. Paul Farmer. If you haven't read it, I recommend it. Thank you for getting the word out.

    Kate Phelps

  4. sent your PIH link to a parish friend who, along with her husband, are helicopter pilots and teachers. Here's her reply:

    "HI Sue. Thanks for this. The rotorcraft community is abuzz with discussions of how to reposition adequate sized helicopters to the island. The challenge is to find a way to place them, adequate fuel, maintenance and crew somewhere on either Haiti or the DR. As many as can go are strategizing how to do so. It’s a lot like the response to Katrina except with cross-cultural and cross-oceanic challenges thrown in."

    Looks like they're "all over it."



  5. Sue, thank you for that feedback. Connecting people who can make a difference to those who can put them to work is what the Internet is all about, and you played a key role in that process.

    Kate, I am glad we concur -- and I note that the good folk at StandFirm have picked up on PiH as well.