Air Canada made a much-needed delivery of medical supplies in Haiti over the weekend after one of the airline's executives saw a television report by CBC News and wanted to help.
Last Wednesday, the CBC's Paul Hunter reported about a makeshift medical clinic set up in an industrial park in Port-au-Prince that was running out of supplies despite the many people waiting to be seen. None of the supplies that were being flown to the nation's airport, which was only a few hundred metres from the clinic, was arriving there, he said.
But aid arrived at the clinic Saturday thanks to Duncan Dee, Air Canada's executive vice-president and chief operating officer, who saw Hunter's report.
Through the network, Dee contacted the clinic's director, Alphonse Edouard, and had wheelchairs, medicine and other supplies flown to Port-au-Prince on Saturday evening.
"I've got all your stuff here," Dee — who personally delivered the supplies — told Edouard.
"I look forward to it," Edouard said. "We really need it."
Other supplies included:
- generators donated by Canadian Tire.
- medical equipment donated by the Ottawa Hospital.
- over-the-counter medication bought and donated by Air Canada staff.
"I'm shocked that we were able to get this thing pulled off as quickly as we did, and you know, these guys are doing such great work and we're glad to be able to help them," Dee told CBC News.
The medical supplies were loaded onto a truck, delivered to the clinic and unpacked overnight, which allowed the volunteer doctors at the clinic to go out and make house calls on Sunday, Hunter reported.
"Apparently, some people this morning saw some [patients] that were still quite sick with open gashes that haven't been looked at," said Dr. Michelle Laporte of Montreal.
"This is going to give us the drive to keep on and, you know, things will be that much better," she said of the new shipment of supplies.
The clinic has seen 1,800 patients, including a girl named Jonata, who was found in the rubble on Jan. 18, six days after the quake and presumed to be dead, Hunter said. But she has recuperated and is doing well, he said.
The clinic has also delivered seven babies since the Jan. 12 quake, he said.