Scenes from hell as dead pile up at Haiti hospital

Nearby, bloated corpses of those killed in Tuesday's massive earthquake pile up in the yard of the morgue of Port-au-Prince's General Hospital.

Scenes from hell as dead pile up at Haiti hospital

Haiti's main hospital is open again, but there are no doctors and few medical supplies and wailing injured earthquake victims litter the grounds, waiting for treatment on makeshift beds.

Nearby, bloated corpses of those killed in Tuesday's massive earthquake pile up in the yard of the morgue of Port-au-Prince's General Hospital.

The stench of death and sickness permeates facemasks, not that the hundreds of people here have access to any.

Most have been under the baking sun on mats, wooden boards and wheeled-out beds waiting for medical attention.

The garden is crammed full of wounded people shaded by bed sheets tied to trees. Some victims are hooked to tubes of makeshift drips hanging from branches.

Amputated legs are mostly bandaged, but the sole nurse says she has no proper supplies, no antibiotics, no pain killers.

"I'm alone here, and we have many emergency cases," said Georgette Sergillies, 41, a trainee nurse, going from bed to bed.

"There are no doctors, no surgeons. I was supposed to get delivery this morning of medical supplies from abroad, but they never arrived," she said. "On my own, I cannot even cope with the toilet arrangements for all these people."

Four days after a catastrophic earthquake, some aid has arrived in Haiti, but it has yet to be distributed as governments and relief groups tackle huge logistical challenges in an impoverished capital city whose feeble communications and infrastructure have been largely destroyed.

At the hospital, 8-year-old Widelie Florent, wearing a pink Cinderella nightgown, stares silently out from bandages patching up her crushed head.

"We need a surgeon"

Probably a pretty girl before she was injured in the quake, her eyes, nose and mouth are now so puffed up she can barely see or swallow. Her teeth are out of place, her forehead misshapen.

"It took us up to five hours to pick her out from the rubble and bring her here," said her brother Ronald, 22, who was feeding her mashed banana after four days in which she would only take milk through a straw.

"She is brave, but we need a surgeon," he said.

Everybody in the hospital garden tries to catch the reporter's eye to ask for medicine. Parents walk about clutching young children wrapped in wooden splinters and plugged into drips.

A man lay on the back of a truck breathing deeply.

"We need to see a doctor. We have been here four days and we need help. We need water," says Maude Morlan, clutching a soggy tissue at her husband's bedside.

Another man, Jimmy Irhah, who has waited four days for medical attention for a smashed thigh and shoulder and severe lacerations to his limbs, begs for painkillers.

Many of the wounded are so delirious they are unaware of the corpses being carried past them to join scores of decomposing bodies in the morgue 100 yards (91 metres) away.

Around midday, some Swiss medical personnel arrive at the hospital, but they quickly crush hopes that swift medical attention will be given.

"It takes time. There is a lot to arrange. We cannot just go out there and start handing things out," said relief medic Beat Kehrer. "There may be some people who will still die, but that is just the way it is."



Reuters

Last Mod: 17 Ocak 2010, 12:04
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