accessibility & help

Haiti: babies born in Red Cross field hospital

22 January 2010

New born baby in man's handsIFRCAfter the horror of the earthquake there is new hope, as two babies were born on 20 January at a Red Cross field hospital in Port-au-Prince.

The babies – a boy and a girl – and their mothers are reported to be doing well. They were born within 90 minutes of the magnitude 6 aftershock that struck early in the morning.



“A patient suddenly arrived on whom we had to do a caesarean, and another who we thought we would have to do a caesarean,” explained Arthur Halvorsen, a Red Cross anaesthesiologist. “We took the first mother in to the operating theatre and managed to deliver the baby in a caesarean. This kid is now doing very well.
“The other mother who was brought in actually ended up giving birth naturally while we were doing the first caesarean.”

Emergency health

Baby in field hospitalIFRCRed Cross surgeons began operating at the hospital on 19 January.
“A large number of those coming here need amputations since their wounds are so infected,” explained Red Cross surgeon Brynjulf Ystgaard. “It is always a tough decision to make, and even harder in a poor country like Haiti.”

The 70-bed field hospital can treat up to 200 patients a day. It has more than 20 staff, an outpatient clinic, two operating theatres, a mother and child unit and post-operative care facilities. It is set up close to Port-au-Prince’s General Hospital. The provision of emergency health assistance remains a top priority for the Red Cross in Haiti. As well as the field hospital, two basic healthcare emergency response units are now operational. These mobile clinics are designed to provide curative and preventative health care to 30,000 people in the wake of a disaster.

Life-saving water

In addition, the Red Cross is producing and distributing more than 500,000 litres of water a day. This figure will continue to climb as more and more resources continue to arrive in Port-au-Prince.
You can donate to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal online or call 0370 60 60 900. Examples of what donations will go to include:

  • £25 will supply a kit of household essentials
  • £50 buys a food pack to feed a family for a fortnight
  • £100 provides temporary shelter for two families.

In the event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK.