About two hours after the earthquake hit Haiti a baby girl was born at Base Charles, where most of the soldiers from Brazil in Haiti are stationed. The birth took place in an improvised hospital in a garage.
According to captain Fabricio Almeida de Moura, the child is doing well, but the mother, a Haitian, is in danger of dying due to bleeding. “She was not injured, but she was frightened by the earthquake and went into labor. The baby is ok, but the mother has serious complications because of the bleeding.”
Around 170 injured people have been assisted at the base, with around 70 of them remaining there, still under observation. Doctors say they received first aid but many need surgery. Some cases are dire – in need of amputations.
“The problem is that we are now having people come down with fever, which means there is a danger of infection. If these people do not get the medical attention they need quickly they may not survive,” said a doctor.
Two Brazilian Air Force C-130 cargo planes are scheduled to fly to Haiti today each carrying tons of food and water for earthquake victims. The planes will depart from the Galeão air base in Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, the minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, and the heads of the branches of the Armed Forces are already in Haiti assessing the situation.
The Brazilian government has announced it will make an additional US$ 15 million available in assistance to the government of Haiti.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is following the situation closely. So far there are more than a dozen Brazilian dead in Haiti. A total of 1,310 Brazilians are in that country on official missions, 1,266 soldiers with the UN stabilization mission , plus civilians on social assistance programs.
The Brazilian government has also announced it will be reinforcing its embassy in the neighboring Dominican Republic. Along with Haiti, it is located on the island of Hispaniola; Haiti occupies the western third of the island. Columbus made his first landfall in 1492 on Hispaniola. The Foreign Ministry, Itamaraty, says it will be sending diplomats and other support personnel.