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Haiti: why we must not forget!

Returning to Haiti


Dr. Martina Fuchs © Real Medicine
Dr. Martina Fuchs © Real Medicine
Now, Martina Fuchs is returning to Haiti to get a clearer picture of the situation. She is staying for five days, accompanied by a team of doctors and nurses.

Shortly before her departure, she spoke to wewomen's German sister site

Ms Fuchs, what was Haiti like when you left last time?
When I flew back home, Port-au-Prince was still nothing but a refuge camp. It was utter chaos.

The situation seems to be particularly dangerous for women at the moment?
Yes, of course. It is particularly hard for women. Just imagine what life is like in these camps. There are still not enough tents, no electricity, no water, no sanitary facilities. We have also heard about many girls being raped there in broad daylight. Nobody protected them.

What are you hoping to achieve with this trip?
We want to increase our efforts on the ground to be able to look after even more people there. We are currently in the process of implementing an initiative with the singer Wyclef Jean. With his support, we are rebuilding one of the largest hospitals in Port-au-Prince; we are taking in more drugs, vaccines and medical devices. But the main thing is to make sure that Haiti is not forgotten.

Haiti has been promised just under 10 billion dollars in aid. What are the main things that this money should be spent on in your opinion?
So far, all we have is promises. The most important thing is that payments are actually made.

What does Haiti’s future look like?
Haiti could really become a model for successful collaboration between states. It is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and has been destroyed at its core. We, as the world community, can show in this situation that we're capable of working together.

You spend most of your time in disaster zones. Don’t you find that stressful?
Not at all. On the contrary. I focus on the solutions, not the problems. Currently, we are able to look after three million people a day worldwide. And we started with just one person. I take courage from that. People who only look at everything that remains to be done will never get started. But if you take it step by step, then you can make some headway.


Shila Meyer Behjat
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