WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Volunteers Still Treating Haiti Earthquake Victims

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

It's been eight months since Haiti was hit by an earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people, according to the UN mission chief there. The relief effort continues, and volunteers from Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. have been helping survivors with one of many lingering challenges: coping with lost limbs.

At the Hanger Orthotic and Prosthetic Clinic in northwest D.C., Anna Avakian walks past piles of plastic and metal limbs, grinding machines, technicians sculpting knees and legs out of plaster.

"Basically the same equipment you see here, we had in haiti," Avakian says.

Avakian is a prosthetist with Hanger prosthetics, she spent three and a half months in Haiti fitting people who'd lost their limbs - some from the earthquake, many from before the quake.

"We were seeing all sorts of levels of amputation - from partial feet to very short above knee even where the leg is all the way gone to the hip," she says.

Estimates vary widely as to the total number of amputees in Haiti. The Hanger volunteer clinic where Avakian worked has so far treated more than 600 people. She says prosthetic care is usually a long term proposition, and there's still a need for volunteers and prosthetists to help with the steady stream of people looking for new limbs.

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.