UN atomic agency to rush mobile X-ray units to Haiti

International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters

25 January 2010 – The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is planning to rush mobile X-ray units to Haiti in a bid to reach some of the 250,000 people injured in the catastrophic Haitian earthquake earlier this month.

After being alerted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that trauma care is one of the most urgent public health priorities in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude tremors which struck Haiti on 12 January, the IAEA is rushing to procure the units, including power sources.

Radiography capabilities have been severely curtailed by the earthquake – which has claimed over 100,000 lives and affected some 3 million people – and IAEA equipment will be delivered to hospitals and health centres.

Additionally, the agency is working with Latin American nations to see whether their medical field teams in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital and the city hardest-hit by the disaster, have radiographic gaps as well.

Meanwhile, top UN officials – UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes and the acting UN representative in Haiti Edmond Mulet – joined foreign ministers from more than a dozen countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other agencies today in Montreal for an emergency donor meeting focusing on coordinating aid to Haiti.

“In Montreal, it is important for there to be a commitment to fund all aspects of the flash appeal, including those intended for the early recovery needs of Haiti,” said Miss Clark, referring to the $575 million UN flash appeal for Haiti launched on 15 January, three days after the quake.

As of Friday, $241 million, or roughly 40 per cent, of the funding had been received.

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