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HAITI: US Military Control of Airport Blocks Landing of Critical Doctors Without Borders Supplies

January 17, 2010
Doctors Without Borders found out just how much the US military is running the show at the Toussaint L’Ouverture airport in Port-au-Prince today.  Below is an unprecedented press release from Doctors Without Borders stating that the US military blocked a plane of theirs from landing which is carrying a full hospital and medical staff.  The US military has re-routed their plane to Samana, Dominican Republic where they must off-load everything to trucks and drive to P-au-P.
 
Samana is on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. I have driven from Santo Domingo to Samana and it was about a a five hour ride.  I can’t fathom driving a truck all the way from Samana to Port-au-Prince, not only because of the incredible distance, but the uncertainty of road conditions in Haiti as well.  See map.
  
 
 
 
I heard on CNN last night that the US military was closing the airport to all but “government” planes until further notice.  This is more evidence that the US is trying to get all of its military in place before non-governmental humanitarian organizations are allowed to access to the airport again.
 
 
Stay tuned.
 
 
 
From: Jodda Mitchell <jadamirada@yahoo.com>
Date: January 17, 2010 11:24:11 AM PST
To: Jodda Mitchell <jadamirada@yahoo.com>
Subject: [K4P] Doctors Without Borders Cargo Plane With Full Hospital and Staff Blocked From Landing in Port-au-Prince
Doctors Without Borders is now being blocked by the US military (Douchebags Without Boundaries)

Press Release

Doctors Without Borders Cargo Plane With Full Hospital and Staff Blocked From Landing in Port-au-Prince

Demands Deployment of Lifesaving Medical Equipment Given Priority


Port-au-Prince/Paris /New York, 17 January 2009—Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges that its cargo planes carrying essential medical and surgical material be allowed to land in Port-au-Prince in order to treat thousands of wounded waiting for vital surgical operations. Priority must be given immediately to planes carrying lifesaving equipment and medical personnel.


Despite guarantees, given by the United Nations and the US Defense Department, an MSF cargo plane carrying an inflatable surgical hospital was blocked from landing in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, and was re-routed to Samana, in Dominican Republic. All material from the cargo is now being sent by truck from Samana, but this has added a 24-hour delay for the arrival of the hospital.


A second MSF plane is currently on its way and scheduled to land today in Port- au-Prince at around 10 am local time with additional lifesaving medical material and the rest of the equipment for the hospital. If this plane is also rerouted then the installation of the hospital will be further delayed, in a situation where thousands of wounded are still in need of life saving treatment.


The inflatable hospital includes 2 operating theaters, an intensive care unit, 100-bed hospitalization capacity, an emergency room and all the necessary equipment needed for sterilizing material.


MSF teams are currently working around the clock in 5 different hospitals in Port-au-Prince, but only 2 operating theaters are fully functional, while a third operating theater has been improvised for minor surgery due to the massive influx of wounded and lack of functional referral structures.

 
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org//press/release.cfm?id=4165&cat=press-release

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