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Monday
Jan312011

Be the Change: Students Help Haiti Rebuild

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- One year after a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, college students around the world are still raising funds for relief efforts to help the estimated one million people displaced in the earthquake's aftermath.

Even in the best-case scenario, rebuilding will take years. But Haiti is not the best-case scenario -- violence, political uncertainty, and the recent cholera outbreak have slowed relief efforts -- and a helping hand is needed now as much as ever.

In 2010, following the earthquake, students at Dartmouth College volunteered to help in the crisis, leading school fundraising efforts in the United States for Haiti, collecting over $1.5 million in money and donations of medical supplies.

The relief group Partners in Health is helping distribute supplies on the ground by working with the Haitian government to build clinics, as well as supporting and training medical teams to provide care for more than 100,000 Haitians.

"The first $200,000 went solely to Partners in Health already on the ground. In addition, the funds since have been used by Dartmouth to send their own medical teams and supplies, and for educational initiatives to bring Haitian students to Dartmouth," said Molly Bode, a 2009 Dartmouth graduate who spearheaded the Dartmouth Haiti Response last year.

Because of Bode and the Dartmouth efforts, over 51 medical professionals and 40 tons of medical supplies have been sent to Haiti. Seven water purification systems were also sent to help with the cholera outbreak that has infected 171,304 and left 3,650 people dead since October. Each purification system can provide enough clean water for 750 families.

This week Partners in Health said more supplies are needed to prevent further death and illness. Most urgent are cholera vaccinations and large-scale municipal water and sewage treatment facilities.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio