Local group builds medical units for Haiti

January 15, 2010 9:12:22 PM PST
People in Haiti are in dire need of medical attention. They're low on supplies, but more are coming in and one Houston group is putting together mobile medical units to be shipped to Haiti. From the outside it's just an old 40-foot shipping container, but step inside and it becomes a whole lot more.

"This is a typical medical unit," said Jonathan Stokely of the Christian Alliance. "There's bandages, sutures, gloves, masks."

Everything you need for a mobile medical clinic.

"They need all that we can give them and then some," Stokely said.

Pearland-based Christian Alliance for Humanitarian Aid is racing to finish seven mobile clinics to ship to Haiti.

"When something as devastating as the earthquake, we rally we organize and we get busy," said Stokely.

They have one already there, just north of Port-au-Prince.

"We got a phone call yesterday and it's being utilized now," Stokely said.

But with no functioning hospitals in the capital city, the country is in dire need of more.

"We're doing the best we can to give them all the medical stuff we have," said Stokely.

The non-profit now in its 12th year has made and sent the clinics all around the world.

One is a virtual doctor's office complete with a generator, sink, air conditioner, exam rooms, and medical supplies. Local churches build them out. Cokesbury United Methodist Church in southeast Houston just finished this one.

"It was finished just in time, ready to go and it will be deployed as soon as possible," said Pastor Bill Newcomb of Cokesbury United Methodist Church.

Once in Haiti, the clinic can accommodate 80 to 100 people a day. Mission teams already there will take ownership, but getting the clinics on the island is still a problem that hasn't been solved. Although the group is confident someone will be moved to step up.

"We're doing what we're called to do and relying on a higher power to do it," Stokely said.

It's true in past disasters, they haven't always had a specific plan but somehow the clinics get there. They believe god makes it happen. They have reached out to a few large corporations here in Houston asking for a supply boat or a barge to send to Haiti. They plan to ship the seven medical clinics as well as 15 containers full of water and other supplies.