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Southfields doctor speaks of horror in Haiti (From This Is Local London)

Southfields doctor speaks of horror in Haiti 7:00am Wednesday 10th February 2010 By Craig Burnett ABack © Copyright 2001-2012 Newsquest Media Group http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk " id="pdf-obj-0-5" src="pdf-obj-0-5.jpg">

Southfields doctor speaks of horror in Haiti

7:00am Wednesday 10th February 2010

By Craig Burnett

A surgeon has described working alongside the sound of gunfire and the stench of dead bodies in earthquake-hit Haiti.

Dr Asif Hamid recently spent a fortnight providing emergency medical aid to disaster victims as a volunteer with Morden charity Humanity First.

Dr Hamid said the scale of the crisis became clear when he entered the country from the neighbouring Dominican Republic. He said: “The moment we crossed the border we could see the sharp contrast between the areas – the poverty and desperation. The stench of bodies was quite strong.”

The Southfields doctor helped at the charity’s emergency medical clinics and triage centres, providing treatment for some victims and directing others to hospital.

The clinics opened at 7am every day, and would close 12 hours later when failing light meant it became too dangerous to continue operating. The relief effort was helped by local nurses, unable to report to their normal clinics and hospitals as they had been destroyed in the disaster.

He said there was still “great need” in the country, and described how the sight of relief arriving had prompted some disaster victims to burst into tears.

The 32-year-old said although his camp was close to one protected by United Nations soldiers, the atmosphere in the country could still be frightening. He said: “There wasn’t a single night we didn’t hear gun shots.”

Dr Hamid and his eight colleagues, who travelled to Haiti on January 25, were relieved by another group of volunteers and returned to Britain last Thursday.

The doctor, who lives in Gressenhall Road, is an oral surgeon at Imperial College Hospital in Charing Cross. The trip to Haiti was his first overseas deployment with the Deer Park Road based charity, and he has not ruled out returning to the country in the next few months.

To donate to the organisation visit humanityfirst.org.uk.

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Southfields doctor speaks of horror in Haiti 7:00am Wednesday 10th February 2010 By Craig Burnett ABack © Copyright 2001-2012 Newsquest Media Group http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk " id="pdf-obj-0-40" src="pdf-obj-0-40.jpg">

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Southfields doctor speaks of horror in Haiti (From This Is Local London)

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