MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Following the devastating magnitude 7.2 earthquake that killed nearly 2,000 people and a tropical storm that created torrential rainfall, thousands of people in Haiti remain in desperate need of help.
One of the several dozens of organizations immediately offering their assistance after the catastrophe is AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) based in Los Angeles.
Thursday morning, they boarded up a plane at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport with supplies to be rushed over to medical offices, hospitals, and healthcare workers in Haiti so first responders can save as many people over there as possible.
“When the earthquake happened, our SOS alarms went off within 10 minutes,” says Michael Kahane of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
“This is the first of several flights going to Haiti,” explains Kahane. “The focus of this flight is to get the life-saving materials into the hands of doctors, the hospitals, and the first responders.”
Thousands of water purification kits will land in Haiti. Over there, they have a staff of about 300 who are stationed in southern parts of the country — the most impacted area from the earthquake.
“Most of the hospitals in Haiti are without power,” he says. “These generators are being rushed over to get things turned back on so hundreds of injured people can be treated.”
“Of our 300 staff, unfortunately, 25 lost their homes, and some have been seriously injured,” he said. “And, obviously our prayers are with them, but our team is ready for this to arrive.”
The supplies in today’s plane are funded straight from AHF. Over the next few weeks, the foundation plans to fly even larger planes with donated goods.
Once on the ground, military helicopters will fly the supplies from Port-au-Prince to different parts of the country.
“There’s always an issue with disasters in Haiti with too much ending up in Port-au-Prince and not getting to where it needs to go” he says. “That’s why we partnered with the U.S. Army to make sure we get to impacted areas as soon as possible.”
Another flight is expected on Saturday, with even more coming within the next couple of weeks.
For more on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, click here.