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.


Making Art Off The Grid: A Month-Long Residency At A Remote National Park

Filmmakers Carter McCormick and Paula Sprenger recently wrapped up a month as artists-in-residence at Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West. No phone, TV, Internet or other people.

After A Long Day Of Fighting Climate Change, This Grain Is Ready For A Beer

Kernza is a kind of grassy wheat that traps more carbon in the soil than crops like wheat and rice. Now, a West Coast brewery is using the grain in its new beer called Long Root Ale.
WAMU 88.5

Why Millions Of American Men Have Left The Workforce, And How To Bring Them Back

Today’s unemployment rate is down sharply from the height of the Great Recession. But more than a fifth of American men had no paid employment last year, and seven million of them have stopped looking altogether. Why men are leaving the workforce – and how to bring them back.


Tesla Surprise: It's A Profit

The company posted a profit of nearly $22 million for the third quarter, the first quarterly profit since 2013. Tesla attributes the good results in part to new stores.

Leave a Comment

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