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Maine-Based Group Works To Provide Resources Following Earthquake In Haiti

Haiti Earthquake
Joseph Odelyn
People injured during the earthquake are treated in the hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. The death toll from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Haiti climbed to more than 1,200 on Sunday as rescuers raced to find survivors amid the rubble ahead an approaching tropical storm.

The Maine-based nonprofit Konbit Sante says it is trying to provide resources to Haitian organizations responding to this weekend's deadly 7.2-magnitude earthquake.

Most of the group's staff is based in Haiti, and is dedicated to supporting hospitals and health care workers there.

Executive Director Rupal Ramesh Shah says the organization is based in the northern region of the country, which wasn't affected by the earthquake. But she says the group plans to meet over the next few days to determine what sorts of resources it can offer to health care groups responding to the disaster.

"Whether it is sending funds, whether it is sending support staff, or whether it's providing supplies," Shah says.

Shah says local health officials say they're in need of basic supplies to treat victims, including gauze and sutures.

"In terms of how we will get those supplies there, and shipments, I think that will be one of the things that will be interesting to see. Because supply chains have been impacted lately, because of all the different challenges we're going through," she says.

Shah says the earthquake is putting a substantial burden on an already limited health care system that was further strained by COVID-19.

Government authorities have reported more than 1,200 deaths from the earthquake so far.