My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
HAITI: Humanitarian Crisis – Médecins Sans Frontières appeal for help
Just seven days ago, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck about 15 kilometres southwest of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, causing massive devastation, injury and loss of life.
Senior Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staff member in Haiti, Stefano Zannini, describes the aftermath: “The situation is chaotic. I visited five medical centres, including a major hospital, and most of them were not functioning. Many are damaged and I saw a distressing number of dead bodies. Some parts of the city are without electricity and people have gathered outside, lighting fires in the street and trying to help and comfort each other.”
This event is truly devastating. As a FRIEND of MSF in South Africa, I’m sure you will be interested in the action MSF is taking.
When natural disasters such as earthquakes hit impoverished states like Haiti, the consequences are often catastrophic with higher numbers of causalities and dire needs for humanitarian support because local authorities are ill-equipped and left without resources.
MSF doctors, nurses, surgeons and logisticians in Haiti are working around the clock fighting against the odds to save lives. Our teams have already treated over 3,000 patients who were in urgent need, while our surgeons have completed over 400 surgical procedures. Our medical staff is treating open wounds, fractured bones, amputations and severe burns. Logisticians are setting up a field hospital with operating theatres and capacity for 100 beds. More is being done and MSF teams will continue to work uninterrupted.
We are now asking donors and supporters to give to our Emergency Relief Fund. These funds ensure that our medical teams can continue their much needed emergency interventions in Haiti and during other emergencies and crises the world over.
Your gift via this website will be earmarked for our Emergency Relief Fund.
Visit www.msf.org.za NOW or send a SMS with your name to 42114 and donate R30.
Or CALL US 011 403 4441/ 011 403 4440 or make a direct deposit or electronic bank transfer to:
|Account Name:||Medecins Sans Frontieres South Africa|
|Reference Code:||your cellphone number +Haiti|
Thank you. I will keep you updated with more information on our work in Haiti as the situation becomes clearer.
Please forward this email to your friends, colleagues and family. Help us to save more lives!
Médecins Sans Frontières South Africa