medi for help

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Being there when it matters: medi for help

The charitable organisation medi for help gives some quality of life back to earthquake victims whose legs have been amputated. With the objective of helping them to help themselves, medi for help gives these people hope for the future.

In January 2010, one of the worst earthquakes in Haiti’s history wreaked destruction and suffering on an unimaginable scale. Haiti is regarded to be the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with a disastrous healthcare system.

This is where medi for help comes in: In February 2010, shortly after the earthquake, a prosthetic rehabilitation centre was established in Deschapelles, where Haitian leg amputees are treated free of charge. medi for help works very closely with the local Albert Schweitzer Hospital and the Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation.

To date, well in excess of 1,000 Haitians have been provided with leg prostheses and for the dedicated team on site, there can be no greater reward than to see the smile on the faces of the people who are venturing to take their first steps again. medi initially set up the aid project using start-up capital. In the long term, however, the plan is to finance the initiative through donations.

Together with the Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation, medi for help is recruiting volunteers specialising in orthotics to work unpaid in Haiti for a period of two to four weeks. During this time, the volunteers will make plaster casts and construct or optimise prostheses. The orthopaedic technicians also help the patients to take their first steps with their prosthesis and prepare them for a new chapter in their lives.

Pro-active self-help also includes the education and specific training of Haitian staff in Deschapelles to become orthopaedic technicians. This creates new jobs and means patients can also be given follow-up care in the long term. There is more information – also for anyone wanting to help as a volunteer in Haiti – on the website